Fears GPs have nowhere to refer young vulnerable people

A Sligo councillor is claiming the HSE has told GPs that they cannot any longer refer children or adolescents for specialist treatment.

Sinn Fein Councillor Thomas Healy says the only option now for children and adolescents needing immediate help is for them to be brought to a hospital emergency department.

However, he says that in emergency departments, the necessary services are not available.

Councillor Healy says children and adolescents, their families, GPs and hospital emergency departments are all now caught up in a stressful situation because of the lack of necessary services.

He says he has received confirmation from a GP that a memo has been sent out by the HSE stating that from 13th March last, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service would no longer be accepting referrals.

He says this has resulted in doctors having no service to refer Under-18s, as they are not allowed to be treated by adult mental health services anymore.

Cllr Healy is now claiming that despite an ongoing concerted campaign for improved services for U-18s, the situation has actually become worse.

And he says it’s a very serious issue for families affected:

Meanwhile, Councillor Healy says it’s all the more reason why people should come out and support this morning’s rally calling for improvements in mental health services for Under-18s in the region.

With about 350 children on the waiting list for treatment, he says this is an issue that’s going to become more serious, particularly as early intervention is of such importance in this area: