‘Damning’ CAMHS report to be debated in the Dáil on Thursday

Gary Ibbotson 24 Jan 2023

The “damning” report by the Mental Health Commission into the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) will be debated in the Dáil this Thursday.

Sinn Fein TD and mental health spokesperson Mark Ward wrote to the Ceann Comhairle yesterday requesting time on the Dáil schedule this week because of the seriousness of the report.

“I welcome that the Dáil will debate the damning report by the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS this Thursday,” he said.

“First thing yesterday morning I wrote to the Ceann Comhairle requesting that time is made on the Dáil schedule for the debate.

“The report published this week has shown that CAMHS is beyond crisis point.

“There is a huge disconnect between Ministers Donnelly and Butler and their Department of Health with the HSE.

“Where does this buck stop, who is ultimately accountable and responsible for the current crisis in children’s mental health services?

“In the aftermath of the Maskey Report into South Kerry CAMHS last year saw most of the blame for the serious harm to CAMHS patients was attributed to a junior Doctor.

“Nobody in a senior role in the HSE or the Department of Health was held accountable despite huge governance issues highlighted in the Maskey Report.”

Deputy Ward says problems within CAMHS have been flagged several times but Minister Butler and the HSE ignored the warning signs.

“In December I raised some of the issues in this report with Minister Butler when I became aware that concerns had been escalated by the Mental Health Commission to the HSE,” he said.

“I said at the time that it was very worrying that the HSE did not inform Minister Butler the nature of these concerns

“Who is in charge of Mental Health, a democratically elected Minister or the HSE?

“It is vital that the Minister answers questions on the key concerns in this report on child safety, lack of governance and failures to manage risks.

“We need a clear strategy to tackle this crisis and major reforms in children’s mental health services as what has been done so far is clearly not working.”

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