February 17, 2022
Appropriate complaints mechanism for mental health services must be introduced – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has called for an appropriate complaints mechanism for mental health services to be introduced without delay.

It comes following a response to a parliamentary question from Teachta Ward which that states the Government currently has no plans to introduce 

The question was submitted to the Minister for Health after findings from the ‘Look Back’ review into CAMHS services in South Kerry showed children placed at serious harm while under the care of the HSE.

Teachta Ward said:

“After findings from the review into CAMHS services is South Kerry showed children were placed at serious harm while under the care of the HSE, public confidence in the HSE children’s mental health services is at an all-time low.

“The fact that children were placed at significant harm is alarming. We are now hearing similar stories coming from North Kerry, Cork, Wexford and Dublin.

“I have raised the need for an appropriate complaints mechanism for mental health services during pre-legislative scrutiny of the Mental Health act, and directly with the Minister for Health.

“The response I received from the Minister was that his Department currently has no plans to introduce an appropriate complaints mechanism for mental health services.

“The HSE investigating complaints into the HSE does not restore public confidence.

“There is a history in this state of a lack of accountability within the HSE.

“The HSE National Mental Health Services has a pilot scheme in place in two inpatient units, to provide an advocacy service through an external provider for young people and their families using Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

“This pilot scheme, if successful, needs to be examined to see if the terms of reference  can be broadened to include an appropriate complaints mechanism in all CAMHS services, inpatient and outpatient.

“If we are to learn anything from the scandal in South Kerry CAMHS, it is that we must put children’s need first. Also, if there is a system or individual failure within the HSE, then parents and children must have timely access to an appropriate complaint’s mechanism.”

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