Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called on the Government to give the Mental Health Commission the statutory powers to regulate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Deputy Ward was speaking following today’s meeting of the Health Committee where both the Mental Health Commission and the HSE stated that they would welcome this regulation.
Teachta Ward said:
“The latest report by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS is yet again another damning indictment of how mental health services are provided for our children.
“Mental health care should be based on need and not where a child lives but that is exactly what these reports highlight. A postcode lottery of care has developed under this Government.
“The Mental Health Commission has made 49 recommendations that the Government must accept and implement to reform CAMHS and improve care for children.
“We have had no commitment or direction from Government as to whether they will implement these recommendations.
“Our young people and their families cannot wait, which is why, last month, I introduced legislation to the Bills Office that would give statutory powers to the Mental Health Commission to oversee that their recommendations be implemented.
“While the Mental Health Commission can make recommendations on governance and clinical reforms in CAMHS, they do not have the statutory authority to ensure that these recommendations will be implemented.
“During this morning’s meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health with the HSE and the Mental Health Commission, I was informed that there is scope within the current legislation to allow the Minister to regulate CAMHS.
“The Minister must do this immediately. We need this independent oversight with the statutory powers to implement changes and recommendations.
“The implementation of the report’s recommendations must be monitored by the Mental Health Commission and that CAMHS should be immediately and independently regulated by the Mental Health Commission
“Sinn Féin is taking these reports seriously and are proposing solutions to address them. The longer the Government are in office the worse the problems become. It’s time for change.”