National audit of Camh services to be carried out in light of Maskey report

The Maskey report found 240 children being treated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) in south Kerry did not receive the correct treatment
National audit of Camh services to be carried out in light of Maskey report

A comprehensive audit of all Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs) teams in the country will be carried out following the findings of the Maskey report.

Published in January, the report revealed 240 children did not receive the correct treatment after presenting to the Camhs team in south Kerry, and that significant harm was caused to 46 of them.

Minister of State for Mental Health Mary Butler confirmed the audit will also look into prescribing practices and operational guidelines across all diagnosis and Camhs teams.

Ms Butler also welcomed progress in the implementation of recommendations made in the Maskey report. In a statement, the junior minister said the implementation of "the majority" of these recommendations has already begun.

An expert team, chaired by Dr Collette Halpin, has now been established and is expected to report their findings to Ms Butler in the last quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has called on Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to clarify why the whistle-blower who helped uncover the scandal was ignored when he offered to temporarily fill the vacant consultant psychiatrist position in the south Kerry Camhs team.

Sinn Féin's mental health spokesperson Mark Ward TD said Dr Ankur Sharma's concerns about overmedication and misdiagnosis of children "were vindicated in the Maskey report", but he was treated "as if he was non-existent" when he first raised the matter.

"There is a culture of lacking transparency and accountability at the top of the HSE and once again whistle-blowers are being treated very poorly," Mr Ward added.

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