Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called for transparency and accountability from government and the HSE after the decision to close 11 of the 23 inpatient beds at Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Cherry Orchard, Dublin.
Linn Dara accounts for 44% of admissions of children into inpatient mental health facilities in the State.
Teachta Ward said:
“The decision to close 11 of the 23 inpatient beds in Linn Dara is another abject failure by the government to address the crisis in children’s mental health services.
“The latest figures I have is that there were 308 admissions of children into CAMHS. Linn Dara accounted for 138 of those 308 admissions.
“There are now only 56 beds available to children through CAMHS in the State.
“The closure of these vital beds will create nothing short of a crisis for child and adolescent mental health services, and could lead to an increase into placing children into unsuitable adult psychiatric facilities.
“This is the second time in five years that beds have closed in Linn Dara. Clearly no lessons have been learned.
“There is a lack of transparent governance and accountability at the very top of the HSE in children’s mental health, as was shown by the recent scandal in South Kerry CAMHS where children were mistreated.
“Minister Mary Butler has failed to appoint a National Director for Mental Health to address this accountability deficit. I supported her call for this appointment, but the HSE have so far refused.
“Who is calling the shots here, the Minister or the HSE?
“The situation at Linn Dara is another indication of the crisis in the recruitment and retention of healthcare staff, which is the direct result of poor planning.
“The Minister must now come forward with urgent targeted solutions to staff CAMHS services and to open these beds immediately.”