HSE criticised over review of Limerick child psychiatry services

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

HSE criticised over review of Limerick child psychiatry services

As many as 245 children are waiting for psychiatry appointments in Limerick

THE HSE’s decision to review its out-of-hours child psychiatry service at University Hospital Limerick has been described as “downright unacceptable”.

The HSE has confirmed the crucial service for children in crisis, is now not operating after 8pm as it is under a review.

But the HSE has moved to reassure the public over the announcement, saying that while a 24-hour service is “not operating” paediatric patients will still be assessed at the hospital.

In the event that a paediatric psychiatric consultant is not available after 8pm, patients will be seen to appropriately by another consultant in the emergency department, the Leader understands.

“We hope to be able to produce our final plans shortly as the matter is still under review,” the HSE said two weeks ago.

Seónaidh Ní Shíomóin, local election candidate for Solidarity, has reacted to the HSE’s decision.

“We already know 245 children are waiting on  appointments with the Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the Midwest. With 60 waiting more than a year for an appointment. Like so much more of the health service, it is already in crisis and at breaking point. When is enough enough? Is there no forward planning?”

Fine Gael TD Tom Neville raised the issue in the Dail. 

“Raising this issue in the Dáil is all very well, but without the political will to act the HSE will remain unmoved. An organised mass movement can force a change to resolve the problems with these underfunded services,” Ms Ni Shíomóin said. 

The Limerick City West candidate added: “We need to get organised and demand a free, functioning mental health service.”