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HSE had concerns about psychologist who carried out private assessments on children with additional needs


HSE. Stock image: Frank McGrath

HSE. Stock image: Frank McGrath

HSE. Stock image: Frank McGrath

The HSE had concerns about a psychologist who carried out private assessments on children with additional needs.

Caroline Goldsmith, who has practiced psychology publicly and privately, was flagged by HSE staff who said that reports carried out by her should not be accepted by the health service.

At the moment, there are more than 4,000 children in Ireland waiting over a year to see a psychologist for an assessment of needs.

Due to the long delays, many parents may choose to pay privately for an assessment from a psychologist.

But private psychologists are not regulated and are not required to meet any prescribed standards.

Last night, Goldsmith featured in an RTÉ Investigates documentary on the lack of regulation of psychologists in Ireland.

Goldsmith has worked as a psychologist for over a decade and has also been tasked with giving expert evidence as a psychologist in the High Court.

On Monday night RTÉ reported on internal HSE correspondence from 2019, which has also been seen by the Irish Independent.

It shows that there were some concerns about private assessments carried out by Goldsmith.

One HSE staff member said that they had questioned Goldsmith.

Some parents were advised that the HSE would not accept private assessments from Goldsmith, and that they should ask for their money back.

On Monday night, RTÉ reported that Goldsmith has a masters of science in applied positive psychology from the University of East London, and a masters in clinical applications of psychology from Newman University.

Under the law, the HSE should provide an Assessment of Needs within six months of an application.

But RTÉ Investigates reported on Monday night that the average waiting time is currently 16 months.

The HSE said that “it is not acceptable to have to wait an extended time for either an assessment of your child’s needs or therapy that would help your child and your family. We are sorry to those families who have had a poor experience in trying to access services.”

The Psychological Society of Ireland told RTÉ it “continues to call for the statutory registration of psychologists in the Republic of Ireland.”

The PSI said it had offered to assist CORU, the health and social care professionals council “in any way possible” to bring in statutory registration for psychologists.

“The PSI’s position is that it is imperative that the title of ‘psychologist’ becomes a legally protected title without any further delay as this will offer optimum protection of the wider public,” the PSI said.

CORU was tasked with regulating psychologists in 2007, but currently there are no regulations and no registration system for psychologists in place.

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