According to figures released by the HSE, in the first 11 months of 2021, 21,317 referrals were made to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), of which only 14,271 were accepted.
The area with the highest rate if referrals not accepted was Dublin North, North Central and North West with an acceptance rate of 55.8%. Other areas with an acceptance rate of less than 60% were Cork and Kerry, North Tipperary, Carlow/Kilkenny and the counties of Waterford and Wexford.
Separate HSE figures show that over 9,500 children are waiting on primary psychology services which is an early-stage treatment for Children with mild mental health conditions.
The College of Psychiatrists has said that CAMHS is “limping along” with just 72 teams when 130 are required. Dr. Maeve Doyle of the College of Psychiatrists has said that the existing CAMHS facilities have only half of the staff required.
Reform plans for CAMHS were laid out as far back as 2006 but these plans were never implemented. Dr. Doyle said that it was recommended that 100 child and adolescent mental health teams be provide for a population of 3.6 million but in 2022 we only have 72 teams.
The above comments from Dr. Doyle come in the wake of a shocking report into the CAMHS facilities in South Kerry which was released last week.
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Recent related news
January 27th, 2022: CAMHS Report in South Kerry prompts “full audit nationwide”
February 2nd, 2022: Government committed to ‘non-adversarial scheme’ in compensating those affected by CAMHS Report in South Kerry
About the Author: Avril Scally is Head of Medical Negligence and Nicholas Moore is a Medical Negligence Solicitor at Lavelle Partners.