Camhs bed count ‘half of what it should be’
The general secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), Peter Hughes, has warned that the number of beds available in child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) nationwide is almost half of what ‘he should be.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast in response to the closure of 11 beds in the Linn Dara Camhs unit at Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin, Mr Hughes called for a more innovative approach to recruiting and retaining staff after the HSE said the reason for the bed closures was due to staffing shortages.
There should be 100 inpatient beds available for Camhs, he said, but there are only 56 left. country. It needs a strong workforce planning strategy and involving all stakeholders including the PNA. »
Absolutely nothing was learned.
The under-resource issues have been going on for years, Mr Hughes added. “The thing is, it happened five years ago, and five years later, nothing has been learned – absolutely nothing has been learned.”
There are several reasons for the shortage of personnel, he explained. Following the reopening of international borders, nurses are migrating again. Others leave Dublin because of the cost of living and the private sector offers better conditions.
Mr Hughes called on Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to intervene. “We really have to ask ourselves what it takes for the HSE to realize the extent of the Camhs crisis in the country when they can embark on removing these 11 beds from the system.”
The HSE must now come up with solutions and targeted incentives to encourage the recruitment and retention of nurses to adequately staff Camhs services, otherwise the reduction in beds will ‘further worsen an already unacceptable waiting list for Camhs’.