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Nursing

The aim of the Nursing Department together with the Management of Mount Carmel Hospital is to assist persons with mental health problems who require specialized treatment and care. 

The nursing personnel at Mount Carmel Hospital amount to 317. These fall into the following categories:

Chief Nursing Manager     ​                              1
Senior Nursing Manager                                 2
A/Senior Nursing Manager                             2
Charge Nurses                                                20
Deputy Charge Nurses                                   16
Staff Nurses                                                   180
Enrolled Nurses                                              24
Nursing Aides                                                 75

Mount Carmel Hospital caters for different specialities, which include the following:

The Acute and Forensic Department

This department caters for acute and forensic admissions to the hospital and the Psychiatric Short Stay Unit at Mater Dei. All the Admission Wards have a closed door policy. During their stay the patients are assessed and a care plan is drawn up by the multi-disciplinary teams. Routine tests, medical examinations and medication assessments and changes are carried out. When required patients can be also prepared for Electro-Convulsive Therapy. During the course of their work nurses use counselling and communication skills to assist the patients during their stay in the admission wards. Patients are sent on leave according to individual plans. Once discharged patients will be followed up at the Psychiatric Out Patients at Mater Dei  or other community services.

The wards/units in this department are: the Mixed Admission Unit, Male Ward 1, Female Ward 1, Secure Unit, Dual Diagnosis Unit and the Psychiatric Short Stay Unit at Mater Dei Hospital.

The Mixed Admission Unit caters for 18 male and 20 female patients. Their status can either be informal or compulsory admission under the Mental Health Act. Male and female patients are nursed in different sleeping areas, while common areas are shared. Patients are discharged or transferred to other wards after 8 weeks.

Male Ward 1 has a 20 bed capacity. Here also, the patients status can be informal or compulsory. Patients to this ward can either be transferred from the MAU, the Secure Unit, be either substance misusers or when relapsing from the Rehabilitation Wards.

Female Ward 1, is a long term admission ward catering for persons experiencing the whole spectrum of psychiatric disorders. There are 24 beds with another 5 time-out single bed rooms. There are also 2 beds in the Multi-Purpose Unit, which also forms part of FW1. Here patients with drug misuse are catered for. 

Male & Female Dual Diagnosis Units caters for 8 adult male patients and 6 female patients with dual diagnosis, that is drug abuse with other related psychiatric problems. Patients can either be admitted from the community or transferred from other acute wards in the hospital. After a 6 week stay in the DDU, most patients are either be discharged or transferred to a rehabilitation program or to other wards.

Secure Unit has 4 single rooms. Patients admitted to the unit are either going through a disturbed phase or cannot be contained in other wards. There is no time frame for the patients in this unit, but patients are kept here for as short a stay as possible. 

Forensic Unit is a 25 bed ward together with Female Forensic unit which caters for 6 females run by the CCF authorities. Here, persons either serving a sentence at CCF or a still awaiting trial can be admitted. Mount Carmel Hospital offers the nursing services in this specialized unit.

The PSSU at Mater Dei has 14 beds and caters for both male and female patients. Here, patients are admitted on informal/voluntary basis, unless the person is going through a suicidal phase, when he/she is then transferred to Mount Carmel Hospital.  Patients can stay in the unit for a maximum of 3 weeks, then either sent on leave or discharged. There is a resident psychiatrist daily and a house officer always on call.

The Illegal Immigrants Ward caters for 10 persons with psychiatric problems and other post traumatic stress disorders. Patients here are transferred for the various detention centres around Malta. This a mixed gender ward. A detention officer and nurses are always present on the ward.

The Rehabilitation Department

The aim of this department is to empower patients by retraining them in lost skills, so as to prepare themselves to return and integrate them back to community living.  Patients  in these wards are mostly informal although a small number are under Treatment Orders. Rehabilitated patients can then live in the community in various supported living units or with their own families. “Suret il-Bniedem” and the Richmond Foundation are organisations who also offer supported living.

The wards in this unit are:

Female Ward 3A, Female Ward 3B, Male Ward 3A, Male Ward 3B, Rehabilitation Unit

The Psycho-Geriatric Department

This department caters for patients suffering from physical and mental health problems. These are mostly organic diseases associated with Dementia and Alzheimer''s disease. The number of beds in this department is always in demand owing to an overall increase in life expectancy.

The wards in this department are:

Female Ward 2, Male Ward 2, Male Ward 7 and Female Ward 7.

The Learning Disabilities and the Child and Adolescent Departments

These are two very different departments. One caters for persons with a learning disability and the other for young adolescents with behaviour problems.

The wards are:

Male intellectual Disability Unit, Female Ward 8 and the Juvenile Ward, these form the Learning Disabilities Dept. There are approximately 60 patients in these wards.

Young People''s Unit is a mixed gender unit catering for persons up to 16 years of age. The main problems are emotional and behaviour. This unit has two full time teachers on secondment form the Education Dept to cater for the educational needs of these youngsters, apart form a whole range of other professionals, including social workers and psychologists, plus a resident psychiatrist.

The Geriatric Complex

This department is a new addition to the services which Mount Carmel hospital provides. It is made up of 3 separate wards, namely:

St. Jean Antide Ward, San Gorg Preca Ward and Santa Bernadette Ward.

The mentioned wards cater for nearly 100 patients of mixed gender. All geriatric cases either awaiting transfer to SVPR or after being transferred from Karin Grech Hospital are taken care of in this complex. This is a totally new concept of Mount Carmel Hospital, which used to cater only for psychiatric and other related problems.

Like all other specialities, mental health nursing is evolving and this necessitates that our staff are kept adjourned on all the new issues. To date, a number of courses organised by the University of Malta in conjunction with the Institute of Health Care are organised and the nursing staff are encouraged to attend these courses. These are:

  • B.Sc.(Hons) Mental Health Nursing Course (part-time course)
  • B.Sc.(Hons) Mental Health Nursing Course (full-time course)

Mental health nursing care is being given the support and importance that it deserves, the B.Sc Mental Health Nursing Course has been developed in such a way that it takes direct entry students into this specialized field. This is another new way of engaging young people into this sector.

Also, for the first time a Masters Course in Psychiatric Nursing Care has recently commenced at the University of Malta. All of this confirms the high standard of nursing care being provided in the Mental Health sector and the commitment of the Health Division to offer the best possible care to all the users.

This will surely help to change the antiquated ideas on Mental Health care and will be moving towards today''s concepts of how to help persons with mental health problems in the community, thus reducing the need for persons to be hospitalised to a minimum.