Cowen calls for action on mental health waiting lists in Offaly

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Cowen calls for action on mental health waiting lists in Offaly

Cowen calls for action on mental health waiting lists in Offaly

Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has called for justification of the "exceptionally long waiting lists" for mental health treatment in Laois and Offaly "given the HSE has confirmed that almost all psychiatry positions in the Midlands area are currently filled."

Deputy Cowen was commenting as a response from the HSE stated that 48 of the 50 psychiatry positions within the Midlands are currently filled.

The posts range within the areas of Psychiatry of Learning Disability, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, General Psychiatry and Psychiatry of Old Age.

Deputy Cowen explained: “Every week my office is inundated with constituents who cannot get an appointment for their children with CAMHS, parents are desperate to do what they can for their children in distress and yet they are told they will have to wait months in some instances."

"Only a few short months ago, 348 children were waiting for an appointment in the CHO8 area which includes Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath Louth and Meath. It was, therefore, a bit surprising to see that almost all positions within the Midlands psychiatry services are filled," he added.

“If this is the case, then why can’t appointments be carried out in a more expedient manner? And why is there still no 7/7 access to mental health services across much of Co. Offaly? Information recently received by Fianna Fáil showed that Birr, Tullamore and Portlaoise are still without a 7/7 service. The Government must ensure the ancillary services are in place," Cowen concluded.