Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has criticised the government for its failure to properly address the practice of placing children in adult mental health service facilities in Waterford, saying that this needs to stop as a matter of urgency and proper facilities opened.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“The mental health commission found that eight children were admitted to the Waterford adult mental health service in 2018.
“Incredibly, it found that the compliance record for the service was 57% compared to 68% for 2017.
“A report found that not all staff involved in the care of children had training in Children First age appropriate facilities.
“Furthermore, a programme of activities were not available and child residents did not have access to age appropriate advocacy services.
“It went on to state that the admission of children policy did not address the procedures in regard to family liaison.
“Other issues included parental consent, confidentiality and the requirement for each child to be individually risk assessed.
“It found that residents’ general health needs were not monitored and assessed in line with their specific needs, that physical examinations were inadequate, that residents did not have access to a supply of appropriate emergency personal clothing and, to add insult to injury, the centre was not clean, hygienic and free from offensive odours.
“How can children and adults with mental health difficulties be treated in that fashion?
“When I asked the Minister about this in the Dáil he tried to say it was a managerial problem, when we all know this is about resources.
“I am calling on the government to invest in child mental services in Waterford as a matter of urgency and to end this disgraceful situation.”