The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has today (Thurs. May 18 th .) called on the Minister of State for Mental Health, Helen McEntee T.D. to intervene to prevent the closure from June of half of the beds in the Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at Cherry Orchard Hospital, Ballyfermot , Dublin.
Eleven of the units 22 beds are due to close for up to three months because of a shortage of nursing staff with 50% of nursing posts currently vacant.
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes called on Minister McEntee to intervene urgently to prevent the closure of the unit which will further undermine the provision of child and adolescent mental health services in the greater Dublin region.
‘I have expressed the PNA's dismay to Minister McEntee at this proposed closure of a vital service. PNA has already highlighted the chronic shortage of CAMHS beds nationally with only 63 beds operational of 100 promised in the Governments, ‘Vision for Change ‘mental health strategy. The closure of these further 11 beds will now bring the number of operational beds to just 52 out of 100 promised. The closure of Linn Dara, even on a temporary basis, will create a very serious situation for CAMHS in the Dublin area with just 50% of the current number of beds available from June.
‘This is totally unacceptable and is a disservice to the Children of this country which will ultimately lead to more children been inappropriately admitted to Adult Mental Health Units.'
Mr Hughes said the situation at Linn Dara was an unfortunate graphic illustration of the crisis in the recruitment and retention of psychiatric nurses which is the direct result of poor HSE planning and the failure to address the issue of pay and conditions of nurses.
‘The situation for CAMHS is now too serious for Minister McEntee to sit by and let the Linn Dara service close in June and I am calling on her to intervene to ensure that does not happen.'
Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535