January 26, 2023
Everything must be done to prevent Cork CAMHS beds closures – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called for an urgent response to keeps CAMHS beds open in Eist Linn, Cork.

Deputy Ward was speaking after concerns regarding staff leaving the facility were raised by the Psychiatric Nurses Association this week.

Teachta Ward said:

“Urgent action is needed to stop staff leaving our mental health services and the knock-on effect of bed closures.

“The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) this week added to the concerns of staff leaving Eist Linn CAMHS services, which currently has 16 beds.

“CAMHS inpatient capacity is already reduced since the closure of 11 beds in Linn Dara, back in May of last year.

“These beds were due to be reopened in September, which did not happen, and again in December, which also did not happen. There is now no confirmed date for when these beds will be reopened.

“Out of the 72 beds that are available, only 51 are in operational this moment in time and the uncertainty over the 16 beds at Eist Linn does not bode well for an already embattled CAMHS.

“We could find ourselves in a situation where we only have 35 of the 72 inpatient CAMHS beds available. This is unacceptable.

“This week, the Mental Health Commission launched an interim report into CAMHS and identified a series of issues, including long waiting lists due to staffing issues.

“If we have further bed closures, CAMHS will come apart at the seams.

“I agree with the calls by the PNA for a workforce planning group to be urgently established to tackle the issues of staff recruitment and retention.

“We need to see urgency from the government to keep these beds open and to do everything possible to return CAMHS bed capacity to 100%. We cannot have any further false promises for when they will be reopened, we need action.

“I have written to Minister Mary Butler and asked that she puts every effort in to keep these vital beds open. Sinn Féin have also outlined our plan to reform CAMHS so that it is fit for purpose, through ring-fenced funding and safe staffing levels.”

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