European Committee for the Prevention of Torture
and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
Strasbourg, 29 October 2009
CPT (2009) 56 rev

Checklist for the evaluation of a psychiatric hospital
by Andres Lehtmets and Pétur Hauksson
This list is not exhaustive, but rather an aide memoire to be used during a CPT visit.
I.

The comprehensive evaluation of a psychiatric hospital involves the
completion of the following steps:
a.
b.
c.
d.

e.
f.
g.

analysis of the legal basis of the mental health services (Mental Health Act etc) and
the regulations within the hospital (guidelines etc).
an initial interview with the head of the hospital (and his deputies)
a visit to all the establishments facilities
examination of a number of medical files and other documentation related to the
medical service provision (court rulings, registers, reports of outside monitoring
bodies)
interviews (in private) with a number of patients
interviews with the staff (doctors, nurses, specialists)
a final talk with the head of the hospital and his deputies (to provide first
impressions, and – if needed – to ask for supplementary information)

Other activities might be necessary, depending on the situation: visits to external medical
units, surprise visits during night hours etc.
II.

Attention should be paid to the following matters:

1.

Issues to be addressed on the management level
1.1.
1.2.
1.3.
1.4.
1.5.
1.6.
1.7.

official capacity of the establishment and the number of patients on the day of the
visit
different categories of patients (children, juveniles, elderly patients, patients with
substance abuse problems, forensic patients)
number on involuntarily admitted patients (if relevant, breakdown of different
categories according to the law)
ward structure of the hospital (including the supportive / paraclinical services –
X-ray, EEG, clinical laboratory etc)
staffing: breakdown by different specialist categories, numbers of posts, vacancies,
persons working for more than one full post
external support : security companies, consultants from outside, cooperation with
general hospitals, discharge and transfer to social care homes etc
financial issues : budgeting principles, out-of-pocket payments related to service
provision

Select target paragraph3