The Health Service Executive has confirmed that a consultant psychiatrist who started work yesterday with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the region is not permanent.
The HSE says it’s a ‘locum’ position.
Yesterday, a second psychiatrist started work with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the region.
Although it has been described as fulltime, it’s a locum position, which means it is not permanent.
And that is something which is of concern to those campaigning for better mental health services for teenagers and adolescents, particualrly because of the backlog of people needing to be seen.
One of the campaigners, Yvonne Rainey, has been telling Ocean FM of her concerns about the new appointment:
Ocean FM News has received clarification about the appointment and the mental health staffing situation in general.
It says that as of the 13th March last, a specialist consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist started for 20 hours per week as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
The HSE says this consultant is providing clinical leadership, guidance and direction to the non-consultant hospital doctors and the wider CAMHS team.
It also says that in addition, a full-time locum consultant psychiatrist for CAMHS Sligo/Leitrim has been recruited and started work yesterday.
A further full time consultant psychiatrist is already approved for Sligo/Leitrim and the HSE is actively recruiting at present.
The HSE adds every effort is being made to recruit and attract the required staff to provide the service.
However, mental health campaigners had hoped that the psychiatrist who started yesterday was not only fulltime but also permanent.
Sligo/Leitrim Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny says this uncertainty causes its own problems.