MHC Board reappoints John Farrelly as Chief Executive for second term

08 Feb, 2024


Following an independent recruitment process conducted by the Public Appointments Service, the Board of the Mental Health Commission (MHC) is pleased to announce that it has reappointed Mr John Farrelly to serve as Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission for the next five years.

Mr Farrelly has been Chief Executive of the MHC since October 2018 and prior to that served as Ireland’s Charity Regulator and as HIQA’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Social Services. He has 35 years’ experience in health and social care services.

Over the past five years, he was responsible for the strategic development and execution of a full programme of regulation to enhance the quality and safety of Ireland’s inpatient mental health services, whilst also overseeing the commencement of the Decision Support Service (DSS).

Dr John Hillery, Chairperson of the Mental Health Commission said: “We are delighted that John has once again agreed to lead the organisation for the next five years to help us realise our vision of an Ireland with equity of access to person-centred mental health and decision support services that deliver high quality care and support.

“Ireland’s mental health services, particularly our community services, still have a considerable journey to undertake before they attain the high level of standards that we have come to expect of all of our approved inpatient services. John’s experience and commitment - along with his proven  expertise in risk-based regulation, quality and safety and person-orientated public services - will be an enormous asset as we work to safeguard the rights of service users.

“John also ensured that the Decision Support Service was delivered so that the people of Ireland can legally have their will and preferences recognised and implemented should they ever lose capacity,” added Dr Hillery. “The supports provided by the DSS help to ensure that people are afforded the fundamental human rights to make their own decisions as far as possible about their personal welfare, property and affairs and finances.”

John Farrelly said: “The MHC has a central role in the ongoing transformation of Irish mental health services and I want to ensure that we continue to play a key part in that change. I look forward to working with the Chairperson, Board members and staff of the MHC to help ensure the provision of good quality mental healthcare.

“The regulation of community mental health services is a key objective for all of us over the next five years. In tandem with this - through the Decision Support Service - the MHC, under my leadership, will provide the appropriate supports for adults who have difficulty in making decisions. These services must be rights based, safe and compliant with the law.

“I once again look forward to working with service providers, service users and professional and clinical staff to ensure that this becomes a reality in all mental health and decision support services in Ireland.”

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