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Cork Independent


Waiting list highest in Cork & Kerry

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 4:14pm

There are more children and teenagers in Cork and Kerry waiting to be seen by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service than anywhere else in the country.

In a letter seen by the Cork Independent from the HSE to Fianna Fáil TD James Browne, it revealed that of the 2,579 people waiting to be seen by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), 747 were in the Cork and Kerry.

His party colleague Michael Moynihan, said that it is shocking and disappointing that so many children in Cork and Kerry are being forced to wait for such long periods of time to be seen by the CAMHS.

Deputy Moynihan was commenting after his party was informed of the total number of children waiting in the Community Healthcare Organsation (CHO) 4 region that covers counties Cork and Kerry.

747 children and adolescents in total, in both Cork and Kerry, are waiting for a CAMHS appointment.

120 out of 139 of these are waiting longer than 18 months.

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Of the nine CHO regions in the country, 747 children and adolescents in total in both counties are waiting with 120 of these waiting longer than 18 months. Of the nine CHO regions in the country, only two others have children and adolescents waiting longer than 18 months for CAMHS services.

These are CHO3 (Clare, Limerick, north Tipperary and East Limerick) at 12 and CHO8 (Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath) at seven on the waiting list.

Deputy Moynihan said that the central issue with this growing waiting list is recruitment.

He explained: “Figures my party received late last year showed that a staff complement of 1,237 is required for a full community CAMHS service but yet just 657 were in place in 2017.

"This gap between what is needed and what is in place is even more pronounced in Cork and Kerry where less than half of all posts have been filled to date.”

He said that until the HSE and the Government recruit the necessary staff such as psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses and counsellors, these waiting lists will grow.

“Our children and young people are losing out, day after day, and it must stop,” concluded Moynihan.Niamh Áine Ryan

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