Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has described the increase in waiting lists for CAMHS first time appointments in CHO 4, which includes South Kerry, as a scandal.
The Maskey report was published in January 2022 and since then, waiting lists have increased by almost 40%.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said:
“In January last year, I called on Minister Mary Butler to put all the resources necessary into South Kerry CAMHS and CHO area 4 after the publication of the Maskey Report.
“The Maskey Report revealed that 240 children did not receive the correct treatment and that significant harm was caused to 46 of them.
“Children were being over prescribed medication and were effectively put in chemical restraints.
“Nationally, there are currently a record high of 4,434 of our young people currently waiting for appointments in a CAMHS psychiatry service. 682 of these children have been waiting for up to a year for psychiatry services.
“What really concerns me about this record high waiting list is that CHO area 4, which includes South Kerry CAMHS, is an outlier.
“Figures I received from the HSE show that since the Maskey Report was published, the waiting list for children waiting on a first-time appointment with CAMHS in CHO 4 increased by almost 40%, from 637 in January 2022 to 888 in March 2023.
“It is extremely alarming when you look at the number of children who are waiting over 12 months for a first-time appointment in CAMHS, CH04.
“There are currently 343 children waiting, compared with 238 when the Maskey Report was released, which is almost a 45% increase.
“Currently CHO 4 has 50% of the national figure of children waiting over a year for a first-time appointment.
“The Minister promised that South Kerry would be a priority, but the facts do not lie.
“The waiting lists for CAMHS are only going one way.
“Children are being left behind and being denied the opportunity to reach their full potential.”