Kerry highlighted as not having out-of-hours service for children with mental health needs

Kerry has been highlighted in a new report as not having an out-of-hours service for children with mental health needs.

That’s according to the Mental Health Commission, which today published its Annual Report 2016 including the Report of the Inspector of Mental Health Services.

This report states that there continues to be a lack of out-of-hours provision in many areas of a CAMHS service – that is Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Kerry is the only part of the Community Healthcare Organisation Area 4 which doesn’t have the service; the area also includes all of County Cork.

Community Healthcare Organisation Areas 1, 5, and 8 also have no out-of-hours CAMHS service.

The report states that in these areas, children with mental health needs are assessed in the emergency department by non-consultant hospital doctors and consultant psychiatrists who aren’t CAMHS specialists.

They don’t have access to the child’s clinical file, making it more likely the child will be admitted to an adult approved centre, because out-of-hours admission to CAMHS approved centres is usually not possible.

The report says this results in an uneven provision of CAMHS emergency services.

The Quality Framework for Mental Health Services in Ireland (2007) states that the mental health service should be available on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week