'Simply not good enough': A quarter of Cork Camhs beds not operational

In an answer to a parliamentary question posed by Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward, it has been revealed that of the 16 inpatient beds in Eist Linn, only 12 are operational, due to a consultant vacancy.
'Simply not good enough': A quarter of Cork Camhs beds not operational

There are four inpatient facilities across the country that operate as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs), funded by the HSE, including one in Cork, Eist Linn, that operates on the grounds of the Bessborough Centre. File photo: Pixabay

A QUARTER of all inpatient beds in Cork that are designated for children with mental health difficulties are not operational, due to a consultant shortage.

There are four inpatient facilities across the country that operate as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs), funded by the HSE, including one in Cork, Eist Linn, that operates on the grounds of the Bessborough Centre.

In an answer to a parliamentary question posed by Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward, it has been revealed that of the 16 inpatient beds in Eist Linn, only 12 are operational, due to a consultant vacancy.

The HSE said it is anticipated the vacancy will be filled by September or October, but until a consultant is found the facility is operating at only 75% capacity.

The reduced capacity is a trend reflected nationally, as overall only 70% of the 72 registered Camhs beds are currently operational.

Linn Dara in Dublin is currently reduced from 24 beds to 13 operational beds, and St Vincent’s in Fairview is reduced from 12 beds to 10, both due to staffing issues.

In Merlin Park in Galway, the original 20 beds available has been reduced to 16 during Covid, as 4 twin rooms were changed to single occupancy.

An answer to a separate parliamentary question revealed that in the first half of this year, 11 children had to be admitted to adult mental health units.

Mr Ward, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on mental health, expressed his disappointment with the Government over reduced Camhs bed capacity.

“This is simply not good enough during a children’s mental health emergency, with waiting lists for Camhs exceeding 4,000 children waiting for psychology appointments,” he said.

“Over 11,000 children are waiting on primary care psychology, with almost 4,000 children waiting over a year for an appointment,” he said.

With staffing one of the main contributors to reduced bed capacity, Mr Ward suggested that the panel system of recruitment operated by the HSE is “not working” and needs urgent review.

Tony McCusker, general manager of National Mental Health Services, highlighted that the number of children admitted to adult facilities has reduced from 14 in 2021, and that 32 new Camhs beds are in development between the new Children’s Hospital and the new National Forensic Mental Health Service, both in Dublin.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare was contacted for comment.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more