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CAMHS Report Raises Concerns About Children on Medication Not Getting Follow-Up Care

A large number of children and adolescents seeking mental health treatment don’t receive necessary follow-up care, a CAMHS report has found.

An interim report into an independent review of the provision of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the State has found that many children and young people end up lost in the system.

In one catchment area, there were 140 lost cases within the local CAMHS team.

Some children and young adults who should have had follow-up appointments via CAMHS – including for review of prescriptions or monitoring of medication – did not have an appointment for up to two years.

In certain cases when people turned 18, there was no planning, discharge or transition to adult services.

Some people also didn’t receive any advice about medication, or get follow-up appointments for review of prescriptions or monitoring of medication.

The interim report, authored by the Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr Susan Finnerty, was published by the Mental Health Commission (MHC).

Dr Finnerty decided to produce an interim report due to the serious concerns and consequent risks for some patients that were found across four out of the five Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) that have been examined so far.

She has called for urgent and targeted action to be taken to address these risks.

Her review found that in one CHO alone, there were 140 lost cases within the CAMHS team.

Nine CHOs across Ireland provide a broad range of services that are provided outside of the acute hospital system and include primary care, social care, mental health, and health and wellbeing services.

Serious issues with CAMHS services in south Kerry were highlighted in a separate report in January 2022. Prior to that, Dr Finnerty was already scheduled to carry out this wider review.

Through her analysis, she also found evidence that some CAMHS teams were not monitoring antipsychotic medication, in accordance with international standards (there are currently no Irish national standards).

Consequently, some children were taking medication without appropriate blood tests and physical monitoring, which is essential when on this medication.

Source: The Journal


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