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19 May 2022

Families affected by issues at Kerry CAMHS will get compensation, says Tánaiste

Families affected by issues at Kerry CAMHS will get compensation, says Tánaiste

Families affected by issues at Kerry CAMHS will get compensation, says Tánaiste

Families affected by issues in Kerry mental health services will be given financial compensation, Leo Varadkar has said.

The Tánaiste also told the Dáil that the cabinet would discuss details of a damning review of services next Tuesday.

The review of the care of more than 1,300 children who went to the South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs) found this week that 46 children suffered significant harm.

The HSE report found that hundreds of children received “risky” treatment by a doctor working in the service.

Concerns raised about the doctor, who is not named in the report, sparked a review of services.

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said the situation was not down to “just one rogue operator”.

He told the Dáil: “This is down to systemic failure for many years which we are all guilty of, every one of us.

“We are going to have to deal with it in a certain way.”

He asked Mr Varadkar: “What are you going to do relating to the massive issues with resources and resource gaps around the country?

“What process are you going to put in place to deal with the issue of compensation for these families?”

The Tánaiste responded: “Let me not mince my words. I have come across a number of examples of failings in care and failures in our health service to provide the standard of care that we would expect for ourselves and our families.

“This is very much at the more severe end. 

“What happened here is hard to accept, that there were huge failings of this nature involving children in particular.

“It just shouldn’t happen and it should have been detected and identified much earlier, and it is very disturbing that we find ourselves talking about this and more particularly that those families are experiencing what they are experiencing at the moment.

“The most important thing that we must do is put this right and that means making sure that the families and the children affected receive the services and the supports that they need.

“There won’t be any financial barrier from the Government when it comes to providing them with the services and the supports that they need.

“In terms of the detail of the review, how that is going to work, cabinet has not yet had a chance to discuss this, we will on Tuesday.

“I am sure it is absolutely the case that it will be necessary to provide financial compensation to many of the families affected.”

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said: “There needs to be a step change from Government, no more apologies.

“What we want is action, what we want is the system to be fixed.”

Yesterday (Wednesday January 26) Taoiseach Micheál Martin demanded a country-wide audit of Camhs teams.

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