January 26, 2022
Independent national review of CAMHS must not be delayed any longer – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has said that Government must not waste any more time and conduct an independent national review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Teachta Ward called for this national review in April last year when issues with CAHMS in South Kerry first came to the fore.

Teachta Ward said:

“In April last year, I called on Minister Mary Butler to conduct an independent national review of CAMHS after issues with the services in South Kerry came to the fore.

“There are currently over 3,000 of our young people currently waiting for appointments in a CAMHS psychiatry service. Over 200 of these children have been waiting for up to a year for psychiatry services.

“Today the report on the review in South Kerry was published and the results are quite shocking, but not surprising.

“Children were being overly prescribed medication and were effectively put in chemical restraints.

“Not only was there no clinical lead, but there was also no Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist from 2016 for CAMHS in South Kerry. There is still none to this day.

“There was no system used to check the prescribing of medication or the quantity of service by the Doctor’s supervisors.

“Concerns where first raised about the Doctor in 2018, again in 2019 about over prescribing medication. And despite this, when a new senior medical manager started in 2020, concerns about the Doctor were not handed over to the new medical manager.

“There were ample opportunities to prevent these young people from having to experience such appalling treatment.

“Since I called on the Minister in April of last year to conduct and independent national review of CAMHS across the state, she has failed to act. No more time can be wasted and I am calling for national review to commence immediately.

“The HSE has issued all families involved with an apology, but they need much more than that.

“People need to be held accountable and the whistle blower who highlighted these failures needs to be commended.”