CAMHS Reviews & Audits
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) is a service dedicated to the assessment and treatment for young people and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties. CAMHS, a division of the HSE, was set to specifically provide specialist mental health treatment and care to young people up to 18 years of age through a multidisciplinary team.
CAMHS state their aim “to provide timely high quality assessment and treatment of mental health difficulties for young people and their families”.
CAMHS Reviews & Audits
South Kerry CAMHS Audit – The Maskey Report
In 2020, a Consultant Psychiatrist commenced working with CAMHS in the South Kerry service. He immediately raised serious concerns about the treatment of young people in the care of the service.
In particular, the consultant was concerned about the prescription of antipsychotic medications to patients, failure to adequately monitor those patients while on this medication, misdiagnosis and also deficits in care. In 2021, the HSE commenced a review to investigate these concerns. Dr. Sean Maskey, a consultant psychiatrist from the United Kingdom, was tasked with carrying out a Look Back Review.
Dr. Maskey’s report was published in January 2021. The findings were shocking. It found that of the files reviewed, 240 young people had been subjected to deficits in care. 46 of these children were found to have suffered significant harm.
North Kerry CAMHS Audit
Following the publication of the Maskey Report into South Kerry CAMHS, significant concerns were also raised in relation to the care received by many young people treated in North Kerry CAMHS.
A random audit of 50 files was carried out by a team of CAMHS consultants.
Results of the random audit into North Kerry CAMHS cases were published by the HSE on the 23rd of January, 2023. In 16 of the 50 cases reviewed, significant deficits of care were identified, including inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medication to young people and inadequate monitoring of these patients.
CAMHS National Audit, The Mental Health Commission
Following the publication of The Maskey Report, amid widespread outrage, the HSE announced that a full audit of CAMHS would be carried out nationally.
In January 2023, the Interim Report of the Mental Health Commission into CAMHS was published. The Commissioner deemed it necessary to issue an interim report given the alarming findings in the small proportion of cases reviewed.
10% of open CAMHS cases in 5 of the 9 CHOs had been reviewed. This report is merely a snapshot, and in the view of Coleman Legal LLP, it only scratches the surface of the widespread failings of CAMHS nationwide.
How can Coleman Legal help
At Coleman Legal, we have a team of highly qualified solicitors and legal executives with extensive experience in medical misdiagnosis, mismanagement of medication, and deficits in care. We are available to speak to the parents of the affected children in addition to patients who are now 18 years of age or older that may have been impacted by the misdiagnosis on the part of this HSE employee.
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