There’s mixed news for Mental Health Services in the North West this week.
The HSE has admitted there’s ongoing difficulty recruiting a child and adolescent consultant psychiatrist for the Sligo/Leitrim area.
Meanwhile, work on a new mental health unit at Sligo University Hospital is to start this summer.
The HSE’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health service in this region has come under new focus following reports that a suicidal teenager was left waiting for months for an appointment.
There has also been concern over what appears to be the difficulty in retaining staff to lead and operate the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service.
Now, the HSE has conformed that the post of lead consultant psychiatrist is vacant.
It describes the recruitment and retention of child and adolescent psychiatrists for the service in Sligo/Leitrim is ‘a challenge.’
The HSE adds this is not an issue of resources but reflects a national shortage of consultant psychiatrists.
And it says there have been difficulties in filling all of the posts in the service.
However, the HSE says it is committed to the provision of a quality and safe child and adolescent mental heatlh service to the people of Sligo/Leitrim.
Meanwhile, work on a new acute mental health facility for the area is due to begin by June of this year.
The main building work will start early next year.
The 25-bed unit will be built at Sligo University Hospital and is expected to be open before the end of 2019.