Mental Health Reform and the Children’s Rights Alliance are today reacting with grave concerns and a call for a national review, following the discovery of the prescription to children at adult dosage levels in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in south Kerry.
The HSE has initiated a review of the care received in south Kerry by more than 1,500 children and young people between 2016 and 2020. This review will likely take 16 weeks. A dedicated helpline will go live today to address concerns for the many families and young people affected, but there are wider concerns.
Our CEO Fiona Coyle, said,
“The reports are disconcerting and give rise to serious concerns as to how such a major clinical oversight went undetected for four years. This has caused great distress to the children and families involved directly. It is also giving rise to concerns for children and families accessing mental health services across the country. Each and every child who uses mental health services needs to be assured of appropriate care. We are calling on the Minister of Health to put in place a nationwide review to ensure that our services are complying with the highest standards of care.”
“Getting swift answers on how this situation arose must be a priority. While the establishment of a dedicated helpline is positive, it is crucial that additional support, including advocacy support is made available to those affected. “
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of Children’s Rights Alliance, said,
“This is a very worrying development, particularly when we don’t know for sure how many children and young people have been directly affected. This situation points to the very real need for a dedicated national advocacy service to ensure that the rights of children and young people accessing mental health services are respected and protected. If we want to ensure that our children are accessing the best possible mental healthcare, then the review must look at the need for robust accountability and oversight, to ensure that quality assurance standards are met and that these types of mistakes are not made.”
About Children’s Rights Alliance
Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Children’s Rights Alliance change the lives of all children in Ireland by making sure that their rights are respected and protected in laws, policies and services.