Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children

Child and Infant Mental Health: Discussion

9:30 am

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I beg your pardon, Chairman. I will leave that point with Professor Nugent. I am very interested to hear how he will address it.

I will move on to Ms Mitchell's contribution. I am sorry to have been a little long on the first point. I wish to focus on the gaps that exist within the infant mental health area. The incidence of stopping referrals and appointments in CAMHS in Waterford, the inability to recruit in Sligo and Leitrim and the fact that current staffing is only 50% of what was recommended in A Vision for Change are all serious issues. The Waterford and Sligo and Leitrim situations seem to both be hung on the hook of the absence of a consultant psychiatrist. My understanding is that Dr. D'Alton is not a psychiatrist, he is a psychologist. Are we locked into the need for the medical and psychiatric area? Is it a fault line in the system that such experts cannot be recruited? I have met many eminent psychologists and they have been of much more help to me and many others than those in the field of psychiatry.

I mean no disrespect but is there a way of dealing with this? The witness is talking about additional measures and a more creative way of using existing staff but what I am trying to explore is whether there are perhaps other answers that would allow us to bring the child and adolescent mental health services, CAMHS, up to the level that we clearly need.


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