HSE says it can only provide care for ‘priority patients’
The HSE’s Child and Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Sligo Leitrim says due to staff shortages, it can provide a service to priority patients only.
It says just 87 vulnerable children out of a total waiting list of 348 have been identified as priority patients.
The statement to The Sligo Champion read: “There has been difficulty in recent months in the Sligo/Leitrim area recruiting a full time Consultant Psychiatrist with the specialist training to deliver a service to children and young people with mental health issues. Therefore we had to make the decision to provide a service to priority patients only.
“In order to do this and ensure a safe and practicable service we have had to reduce the volume of service provided to the current 348 children/young people.
“Subsequently the CAMHS multidisciplinary team have identified a list consisting of 87 vulnerable children and young people that will be prioritised. This list will be monitored weekly by the CAMHS multidisciplinary team and other children and young people will be added as and when possible.”
It added: “As of the 13th of March 2017 a Specialist Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist has been recruited for 20 hours per week. This Consultant will provide clinical leadership guidance and direction to the Non Consultant Hospital Doctors and wider CAMHS team.
“Every effort is being made to recruit a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist to the Sligo Leitrim CAMHs team.”
The statement concluded: “Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Sligo/Leitrim supports children and adolescents with mental health needs.
“We wish to reassure the public that this matter is a key priority and there is a commitment to a robust recruitment process to attract the required specialist to work in the services in Sligo/Leitrim. All advertisement processes are currently being utilised. There have been difficulties in filling all of these posts nationally, due to nationwide shortage of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Consultants specialising in this sector and this has presented challenges.
“The HSE fully acknowledge the additional stress that this situation has caused and would like to apologise for the resulting anxiety to those children/young people and their families impacted by this CAMHS consultant shortage.”