The executive clinical director of Kerry Mental Health services, Dr Maura Young has acknowledged that the review into allegations that young people who attended South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) was “a damning indictment.”
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Dr Young apologised to the children involved and their parents for the failure to deliver the standard of services that would have been expected.
There had been no “malintent” or intention to do harm, she said. But harm had been caused to the children, significant harm to 46 children.
This number was likely to rise, she said as families raise ongoing concerns. An information line was being set up which would be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
Dr Young added that she hoped the review would result in more robust supervisory arrangements.
The management team that had been in place at the time was not the same as the current management team, but there still was no permanent consultant, nor had there been for the past five years despite repeated efforts to fill the post. This was a source of deep regret.
Other measures had been taken to ensure there was strong governance which would improve the standard of care in the service, she said.
“I know there has been a breakdown in trust. It will take a long time to rebuild, that will be a long process. The report helps that. We are fully accepting and take on board these 35 recommendations and are committed to implementing them.”
Dr Young admitted that medication had been the ‘default mechanism’ as a means of controlling emotions and behaviour when other therapies should have been considered. Medication should only be used in specific circumstances.