Boy (12) admitted to adult psych ward home to 'dangerous and highly unstable individuals'
Published 11/12/2015 | 02:30
A twelve-year-old child has been admitted to an adult physiatric unit in Waterford city because there aren't enough children's beds in the country.
The young boy was being cared for in a child's facility however he was transferred to University Hospital Waterford for emergency medical treatment last week.
He was taken to the hospital's ICU department where he was sedated for a number of days.
When deemed fit enough for transfer out of the medical unit his family were told that there were no child's psychiatric beds available in the country.
He was then admitted to the adult psychiatric unit at the hospital.
The acute facility is currently home to a number of "dangerous and highly unstable individuals."
It is believed the young boy now shares a ward with a man who entered Wexford garda station last week brandishing a knife.
A hero garda was lucky to escape with his life when the knifeman tried to slit his throat in an attack in the busy garda station.
The disturbing events unfolded in the public area of the barracks last week.
It is understood the individual, pulled a hunting knife on two officers who had responded to a request for assistance from a female colleague who had been manning the counter.
It's alleged that the man shouted satanic slurs before the attack.
He reportedly said: "I am the devil; I am going to kill you."
Convicted child snatcher and sex offender Michael Martin was also previously admitted to the facility on a number of occasions.
A source has revealed that the boy is the youngest person ever admitted to the unit.
"This is the youngest child that has ever been admitted to the unit. Before him, there was a 14-year-old.
"This boy is very sick and needs genuine care. It will be very difficult for him here to get that.
"This particular unit is currently housing a number of potentially dangerous and unstable people.
"It is no place for a child. There are some very unwell individuals there, many who have drug and alcohol problems. "
It's believed alcohol is routinely confiscated by staff at the unit.
A spokesperson for the HSE has said they could not comment on individual cases.
The boy was admitted at 2pm yesterday and is expected to be there until after the weekend at the earliest.
ISPCC Director of Services Caroline O’Sullivan has said the incident is "beyond appalling."
"We know that child ad adolescent physiatric services are at crisis point in Ireland, but this is extremely disturbing," she said.
"No child should ever be placed in an adult unit no matter what the circumstance is.
"Without a doubt, he is already terrified and scared. To be put in a situation where adults around him are unstable is beyond belief."