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IMO says CAMHS ‘shocking’ failure highlights ‘inattention and underfunding’

By Mindo - 28th Jan 2022


The IMO has described the revelations this week of “failures” in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Kerry as “shocking”.

However, the Organisation said “they are in many ways the inevitable result of years of inattention and underfunding of critical health and mental health services across the State”.

Prof Matthew Sadlier, Consultant Psychiatrist and IMO consultant committee member, said that the inability “of the health system generally, and in this case CAMHS, to recruit  sufficient number of consultants so that teams are supported and equipped to do their job, is a direct contributor to this latest failure in care provision”.

In its statement the union said the “consequences of these failures for the families involved are deeply concerning and responding to the needs of those families must be the immediate priority”.

But the IMO warned that “this is a systems failure which will inevitably lead to a cycle of blame and finding the ‘individual’ responsible rather than looking at fundamental issues which have led to this”. 

“We have known for a long time of the unmet need of patients, and we also know that will grow significantly as a direct result of the pandemic, yet we are still woefully unprepared.”

The union said that any review which “seeks to seriously address the fundamental problems must examine” the lack of medical workforce planning for services; the “inability to recruit sufficient numbers of consultants to meet patient need”; and “the complete lack of focus on supportive services for medication management such as integration of clinical pharmacy into multi-disciplinary teams, lack of access to medical diagnostic services to community mental health teams and electronic patient records/prescribing”.

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