Children suffering while waiting for delivery of mental health services – Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and Meath East Imelda Munster has expressed her serious concern about the provision of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Louth following the response by the HSE to a parliamentary question by Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Health, Louise O’Reilly.
The HSE has confirmed that there is a shortfall of 57.3% whole-time equivalents in clinical staff within CHO8 which covers the community mental health team in Louth, Meath, Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath.
This is only 62.2% of the clinical staffing requirement under the Government’s A Vision for Change strategy.
Nationally there are over 7,000 under 18 year olds waiting upon a community based psychology assessment with over 2000 of these children now waiting in excess of one year for their essential assessment.
Deputy Munster said:
“The government has failed children who need mental health services. These figures show an appalling disregard for the well-being of children in this State.
“Last year the government committed to address the staffing problems.
“I have contacted Minister for Health Simon Harris, calling on him to give the specific details of the numbers mentioned above as they relate to the Louth area and I would like him to clarify what measures he intends to take to address this serious problem.
“I have also asked Minister Harris to outline the specific measures that he is taking in the recruitment of these key personnel and to ensure that they are retained because thus far the recruitment and retention plan hasn’t worked.
“Meanwhile, children are suffering because of the choices made by this government. I am urging the Minister to take swift action to address these matters."