– 2,579 children are left waiting while 351 alone are waiting over a year for assessment –
New figures released to Fianna Fail reveal that some 2,579 children and young people are waiting for an appointment with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Ireland.
Commenting on these figures, Deputy Troy said, “The last HSE Performance Report, published in September 2017 indicated that there were 2,333 children placed on a waiting list for a CAMHS appointment. Of the 9 HSE areas the Midlands region currently ranks second from bottom with 349 children awaiting an appointment. The Cork/Kerry region ranked worst of all with over 700 children on the list in this area.
“The latest figures I have obtained show that while the Government has repeatedly claimed to be improving the capacity of the CAMHS nationwide – close to 250 more children have been added to the list in the past year. I have been contacted by a number of parents in the past months who are deeply concerned about the length of time their child has been waiting for an assessment. At a formative age it is not good enough that a child who may be experiencing difficulties is left to wait over 18 months for an assessment. According to HSE figures 307 children nationwide are currently waiting more than 18 months to access services with 5% of these within the Midlands region.” stated Deputy Troy. The overall figures are disappointing to say the least but to have over 300 vulnerable young people waiting longer than 18 months for an appointment is particularly shameful.
“The central issue with this growing waiting list is recruitment. Figures I 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 means there is a shortfall of some 580 posts and while there has been an increase of 49 in the past year, if the current trend continues then it will probably be 2030 by the time recruitment for a full community CAMHS service is complete.
“That is too long, too inexplicable and if we want to help vulnerable children and young people in need of essential mental health services then we need this Government to take a lot more action,” concluded Deputy Troy.