Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has expressed his disappointment with government over reduced CAMHS bed capacity.
Teachta Ward was speaking after a response to a parliamentary question revealed that operational capacity in CAHMS was only 70% as of this week.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said:
“I am really disappointed with the current capacity figures for CAMHS beds.
“The response that I received from a parliamentary question this week in relation to operational capacity for CAMHS beds is currently at 70%.
“There are 72 beds in 4 inpatient CAHMS facilities, but only 51 of these beds are open at present.
“Staffing reasons have been cited as a main contributor in many of the national facilities.
“The panel system of recruitment operated by the HSE is not working and needs an urgent review.
“This is simply not good enough during a children’s mental health emergency, with waiting lists for CAHMS exceeding 4,000 children waiting for psychology appointments.
“Over 11,000 children are waiting on primary care psychology, with almost 4,000 children waiting over a year for an appointment.
“70% CAHMS bed capacity is unacceptable and is another failure by government in children’s mental health.
“Another response to a parliamentary question that I received this week stated that 11 children were admitted into adult units so far this year.
“I have called on the Ministers for Health and Mental Health to end this practice on numerous occasions, and while the numbers are down on the same period last year, it is simply not good enough.
“One child admitted to an adult facility is one child too many.
“I have also previously called on the government to act quickly in keeping 11 child and adolescent beds in Linn Dara open. The current situation is a result of their failure to act quickly enough.
“The government is not treating this emergency with the urgency that is required. Children and their families are being left behind.”