650 Cork children on CAMHS wait list

650 Cork children on CAMHS wait list

New figures show that 650 children were on a waiting list for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Cork alone at the end of 2018, including 113 children who had been waiting for more than a year.

The figures were provided by the HSE to Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath in response to a parliamentary question.

Waiting times for CAMHS have come under repeated scrutiny, with the numbers in parts of Cork consistently more acute than in most of the country, in recent years.

Sinéad Glennon, head of Mental Health Services Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, had advised the situation in some areas in Cork was exacerbated by staff shortages.

She said Cork North Central is currently without a consultant in situ: “This had a significant impact on waiting lists for this team (accounting for over 235 of the total Cork waiting list). Strenuous efforts are being made to fill this vacancy in Cork, including repeated advertising of the position and the use of recruitment agencies both nationally and internationally.

“Despite these ongoing efforts, recruitment is proving extremely difficult as there is a shortage of consultants across Europe. These efforts have also included seeking locum cover. In addition, partnerships with private providers have been explored but these providers are also experiencing recruitment difficulties.”

Interviews are scheduled this month to permanently fill the post, while the HSE said efforts continuing since Septemberner 2017, under the CAMHS Enhancement Project, had seen “considerable improvements in efficiency”.

“Analysis of young people seen by each clinical member for the CAMHS Teams in Cork and Kerry shows increased directed contact by 63% since 2017,” Ms Glennon said.

“Work to date with these teams has resulted in a 50% reduction in waiting list numbers across Cork Kerry Community Healthcare in October 2018 in comparison to October 2017 shortly after the CAMHS Enhancement Project commenced. This is against a backdrop of an overall 10% increase in referral rate.”

However, Mr McGrath said: “CAMHS is heading for a major crisis unless urgent action is taken.”

More on this topic

Bressie announces new 'Where is my Mind' mental health podcastBressie announces new 'Where is my Mind' mental health podcast

Two mental health units criticised by inspectorsTwo mental health units criticised by inspectors

Six-packs and bulging biceps – how appearance pressures take their toll on men's mental healthSix-packs and bulging biceps – how appearance pressures take their toll on men's mental health

'High-risks' in three mental health units in Cork and Dublin'High-risks' in three mental health units in Cork and Dublin

More in this Section

Cork farmer sues over 'absolutely horrific' injury after hand gets trapped in combine harvesterCork farmer sues over 'absolutely horrific' injury after hand gets trapped in combine harvester

Government denies economy on the 'cusp of overheating' despite Brexit warningsGovernment denies economy on the 'cusp of overheating' despite Brexit warnings

Irish scientists receive grant from Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's researchIrish scientists receive grant from Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research

Sinn Féin: Taoiseach should contact parties before discussing backstop changeSinn Féin: Taoiseach should contact parties before discussing backstop change


Lifestyle

A continence expert from the children’s bowel and bladder charity ERIC gives advice on how parents can help stop older children bed-wetting.Ask an expert: How can I help my child stop wetting the bed?

A quick spritz can make all the difference to your complexion, says Katie Wright.What a difference a spray makes: 9 of the best facial mists for every skin type

Athlete and mum-of-two Jo Pavey has teamed up with a childcare expert and Simplyhealth to inspire families to embrace active fun. By Lisa Salmon.9 ways to keep kids entertained and active this summer

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Don’t tell me you’re getting party-hosting tips from some kind of middle manager

More From The Irish Examiner