Closure of Camhs beds due to staff shortages condemned

The HSE said the beds in the Linn Dara unit in Dublin will remain closed until at least September
Closure of Camhs beds due to staff shortages condemned

Muireann Duffy

The closure of 11 out of 23 beds in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) unit in Dublin has been condemned by the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA).

The HSE confirmed the beds in the unit in Linn Dara in Cherry Orchard, Dublin will remain closed "until September at least as a result of staff shortages".

The PNA said it was "inexplicable" that the beds would be allowed to close "in the light of the ongoing and worsening crisis in the provision of Camh services nationally".

PNA general secretary Peter Hughes has since called for Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to ensure resources are put in place to allow for the beds to be reopened "as a matter of urgency".

"Linn Dara Day plays a vitally important role in the provision of child and adolescent mental health services in the greater Dublin region," Mr Hughes said.

"A similar decision to close beds in this unit was made in 2017 and was met by widespread shock and opposition.

"It now appears that five years on that nothing has been learned and we find ourselves in the same position again."

The association said the nursing complement for the Linn Dara in-patient unit is 51, yet there are currently only 24 nurses employed there.

"While PNA recognise the ongoing difficulty in the recruitment of nurses the response of the Government and HSE cannot be to simply reduce services," Mr Hughes said.

"The situation at Linn Dara is one more graphic illustration of the crisis in the recruitment and retention of psychiatric nurses which is the direct result of poor HSE planning and HSE must now come forward to target solutions and incentives to encourage the recruitment and retention of nurses to adequately staff Camh services."

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