Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has said that admitting children to an adults’ mental health ward is unacceptable and that a properly funded children’s mental health care service would help to ensure that these events do not happen.
Deputy Ferris was responding to a recent report of an unannounced inspection by the Mental Health Commission that sixteen children were admitted to the Adult Mental Health Unit in Kerry General Hospital between February 2014 and September 2015.
The inspection rated many areas of the ward as excellent, however it said no children should be admitted as the ward does not provide age appropriate facilities such as children’s beds.
Also, a recently constructed facility in the ward for intensive care remains unopened due to staffing issues.
The Kerry Branch of the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association says a purpose built child care unit is required in the county.