Old and unsuitable buildings are impacting the delivery of high-quality mental health care, according to the Mental Health Commission.

A report by the Inspector of Mental Health Services said that despite some buildings being upgraded, many were not purpose built.

Therefore, it said the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that many buildings are not suitable for the facilitation of effective infection prevention and control.

Dormitories, multi-occupancy bedrooms, small rooms, long corridors and limited access to outdoor spaces are a cause for concern, according to the commission.

The report also said attempts to reduce aggressive behaviour by patients in psychiatric facilities should no longer be limited to security features such as locks, observation windows, violence-proof doors and isolation rooms.

It said more focus should be placed on the design of buildings.