Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the recent Health Service Executive (HSE) figures regarding Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) as deeply worrying. The Sinn Féin TD said it is clear that they are not meeting their existing targets and with the leaked HSE plans of a recruitment and overtime ban, this will only add to the crisis in the service.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The latest available data from the HSE indicates that the service is missing its target with 2,453 child and adolescents now waiting on a CAMHS appointment. 1,469 have been waiting over 3 months for an appointment and 313 have been waiting over 12 months. This fails to meet the HSE target that no young person should wait more than 3 months for a CAMHS appointment.

“The HSE are at breaking point and their leaked plans of a recruitment and overtime ban will only add to the crisis in the service.

“The HSE performance profile for July 2018 which was published in September shows that over 27% of children admitted to mental inpatients unit were admitted to totally inappropriate adult mental health units each month.

“The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, must urgently outline what actions he is planning to end this deeply worrying situation.

“In a reply to a Parliamentary Question received in December 2018 by my Sinn Féin colleague, Louise O Reilly TD, the HSE said that in the CHO7 area which covers Dublin South West, 125 children and adolescents were on waiting lists for a CAMHS appointment. 83 of them have been waiting over 3 months, 35 have been waiting up to 6 months, and 7 have been waiting up to 9 months.

“No one, especially a young person in a mental health crisis, should have to wait months for an appointment. A cry for help from whatever quarter should be heard and seen as quickly as possible.

“These newly released figures are deeply worrying and combined with the double whammy of a recruitment embargo with an overtime ban, means that waiting lists will continue to stretch and grow out of control.”