15 Aug 2022

National CAMHS audit must look beyond just medication, says ADHD Ireland

National CAMHS audit must look beyond just medication, says ADHD Ireland

National CAMHS audit must look beyond just medication, says ADHD Ireland

The voices of children in Ireland with ADHD must be heard in planned audit of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

That's according to advocacy group and national charity, ADHD Ireland, which released a statement today (Friday February 4) following the publication of a "shocking" South Kerry CAMHS report in January. 

CEO of ADHD Ireland, Ken Kilbride, said, "Following on from the publication of the recent South Kerry CAMHS report we can only echo the words of An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. when he said it was an ‘unacceptable' and ‘profoundly serious issue'. 

A national audit of 72 CAMHS teams is due to take place, with Mr Kilbride encouraging a holistic approach to the treatment of children with ADHD and advising against limiting the issue to prescribing only. 

Mr Kilbride said, "Any audit that simply just looks at medication, is frankly missing half the picture when it comes to the treatment of children with ADHD." 

However, he welcomed the appointment of the Inspector of Mental Health Services at the Mental Health Commission, Dr Susan Finnerty, to carry out the audit and review. 

He added: "[The outcome] will have an impact on children with ADHD in CAMHS. Therefore, Dr Finnerty’s experience will be of great value in carrying out a thorough and comprehensive review." 

ADHD Ireland also expressed concern regarding recent public commentary of CAMHS and children with ADHD. 

Mr Kilbride added: “There has always been concern among parents around their children and ADHD medication. It is accepted that ADHD medication can have side effects, however headlines linking ADHD medication and turning children into zombies, is dangerous. 

"While we cannot comment on individual cases, Dr Maskey’s report on South Kerry CAMHS clearly states ADHD specific treatments have a solid evidence base, the adverse effects are well understood and treatment using accepted European guidelines is safe and effective." 

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