The interim report by Dr Finnerty as damning indictment of the very serious crisis prevailing in mental Health Services in this country
The report is a damning indictment of the service which is putting children’s safety at risk. It is now clear that poot clinical governance is a national issue across the mental Health System.
Failures highlighted include managing of the risks, recruitment of key staff and the provision of standardised care across the mental health system.
“Speaking in the Dáil I called on Government to immediately recruit a Youth Mental Health Assistant Director in the HSE as promised. This post is essential to provide leadership in the much-needed improvement of the mental health services for children and young people”.
I also called for the appointment of a National Director for Mental Health reporting to the CEO of the HSE to ensure greater accountability, a vacancy that is not filled since 2016.
The report also highlights the urgent need to reform the Mental Health Act 2001 to ensure the children’s rights are adequately protected when they require access to Mental Health Services.
The fact that €11.4 million out of the €24million allocated in budget 2022 went unspent and that there are over 700 mental health nursing staff vacancies in mental health services according to a survey carried out by the Psychiatric Nurses Association in November 2022 is further cause for concern.
There were over 4,000 children on the CAMHS waiting list as of October 2022. The alarming fact the HSE still have not yet published either their prescribing Audit and the compliance with the CAHMS Operational Guideline (2019) Audit despite being promised to be published in Q4 2022 is another indication of the failures in the service.
“The report cannot be diluted; it is stark and worrying and requires immediate Government intervention. More reports or reviews are not needed at this stage, immediate action is required”.