Admissions of Children to Approved Centres

Data Collection Type
National data collections of health and social care in Ireland

Mental Health Commission

Year established


Statement of purpose

The Commission was established in 2002. It is an independent body and its functions are set out by law in the Mental Health Act 2001. Its main functions are to promote, encourage and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services and to protect the interests of patients who are involuntarily admitted. The MHC is responsible for regulating and monitoring mental health services. 
Data on the admission of children to Approved Centres are collected in accordance with provisions in the following:  

  • Code of Practice on the Admission of Children to Approved Centres (MHC, 2006) and Addendum to the Code (MHC, 2009) 
  • Mental Health Act 2001 
  • Quality Framework for Mental Health Services in Ireland (MHC, 2009).

Data are processed in adherence with the following legislation: 

  • Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 
  • Data Protection Act 1988 
  • Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 
  • Freedom of Information Act 1997.

National — all Approved Centres that admit children.


Admissions of children to Approved Centres are notified to the MHC. ‘Child’ means a person under the age of 18 years other than a person who is or has been married; Section 25 Mental Health Act 2001.

Data content

Child ID; date of birth; gender; date of admission; legal status on admission; date of discharge; legal status at discharge.

Data providers

Approved Centres. The definition of an Approved Centre is as follows: As per Part 5 Section 62 of the Mental Health Act 2001: A ‘centre’ means a hospital or other inpatient facility for the care and treatment of persons suffering from mental illness or mental disorder. An ‘Approved Centre’ is a centre that is registered pursuant to the Act. The MHC establishes and maintains the Register of Approved Centres pursuant to the Act.

Data collection methodology

Data are taken from medical charts or records and returned to the MHC. Admissions to adult units are notified to MHC, within 72 hours of the admission, using a specified clinical practice form. Notification of discharge is sent to the MHC, within 72 hours of discharge, using a specified clinical practice form. MHC imports data on receipt into an Access database. Admissions to child units are reported to MHC on a monthly basis using a specified electronic template. 

Clinical coding scheme

Not in use

Size of national collection

Approximately 450 records created on average annually.

Publication frequency

Annual reports since 2006.

Accessing data

MHC annual reports and data requests.

Open data portal access


Email contact
Telephone contact