January 12, 2023
CAMHS Galway non-compliance issues must be addressed – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called on the Minister and the HSE to take immediate action after several non-compliance issues were found at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Galway’s Merlin Park University Hospital.

The areas of non-compliance were published this month in a report carried out by the Mental Health Commission in 2022.

Teachta Ward said:

“It is very concerning to see a litany of non-compliance issues discovered by the Mental Health Commission in a report into the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Merlin Park University Hospital in Galway.

“The report noted that the centre’s compliance rate has decreased from 97 percent in 2021 to 88 percent in 2022.

“In terms of non-compliance, it was found that:

  • Not all staff disciplines had completed mandatory training in Fire Safety and the Management of violence and aggression.
  • Ligature points were not minimised to the lowest practicable level. Ligature anchor points were found throughout the parents flat where visits had been taking place. Visits in the parents flat ceased during the inspection due to the identified risk. Visits were moved to the gym and garden areas.
  • The centre was not in a good state of repair externally and internally on inspection. Plaster cracks in the gym, stained paintwork, and three curtains were found to have paint stains.
  • The flooring of the seclusion room had a hard surface.
  • Residents in seclusion did not have access to adequate toilet and washing facilities, as there was no shower facility in the seclusion area.

“There are some very serious issues of non-compliance raised in the report. It is of some concern that not all staff have the relevant mandatory training to work with vulnerable children.

“I have asked the Minister and the HSE to ensure that all areas of non-compliance found in CAMHS Galway are rectified immediately. I am awaiting a response.

“There are also currently several reports being conducted into CAMHS after the scandal of the Maskey report that showed that over 200 children were placed at harm while under the care of CAMHS.

“The Minister must ensure that these reports are acted on.

“This is an opportunity to tackle the crisis in youth mental health that has seen 4000 children on waiting lists for CAMHS appointments and another 11,000 waiting on primary care psychology appointments.”

The Mental Health Commission’s report can be read here.

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