19 counties without acute beds in child mental health services

19 counties without acute beds in child mental health services
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There are 19 counties without any acute beds in child mental health services.

According to figures obtained by Fianna Fáil relating to 26 counties, there are just 74 acute beds available for children nationwide.

They are in Community Healthcare Organisations (CHO) in Dublin, Cork and Galway but five other CHOs covering 19 counties have none at all.

"It seems extraordinary to me that there are no beds in the South East, the Mid West, the Midlands and the North West," said Fianna Fáil spokesperson for mental health, James Browne.

I have no doubt that the absence of such beds leads to children being admitted to adult units and worse, waiting for hours in very unsuitable A&E Departments.

Deputy Browne said that parents, especially those in rural areas, do not want to send their children far away for care.

"It’s a traumatic enough time for all and separation from local communities is unlikely to be conducive to a recovery process."

Mr Browne said that there are inadequate services being provided in child mental health services nationwide.

He said that there are "significant waiting lists" for child and adolescent mental health services and for psychologist appointments in primary care.

"We already know that community mental health services are seriously understaffed with many parts of the country having barely half the required personnel in place."

He said that the matter must be addressed and the demand cannot be left unmet.

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