Families affected by the Kerry children’s mental health scandal have formed a support group and are to travel to the Dáil to speak to TDs.
erry CAMHS Family Support Group has been invited by TD Jim O’Callaghan to meet Fianna Fáil TDs at the Dáil in the coming weeks.
The families who formed the support group are now inviting other affected families in Kerry to get in touch following the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) scandal.
Three weeks ago the HSE admitted that 46 children had suffered ‘significant harm’ while being patients in the mental health service, but it has yet to tell families who they are.
The HSE has acknowledged 227 children were put at risk and apologized to hundreds of affected families in South Kerry.
But the families of the 46 children who suffered “significant harm” still don’t know who they are, sparking further pain and outrage.
In total, more than 1,100 families in Kerry have received ‘safe’ letters from the HSE saying that while their child was attending the South Kerry Mental Health Service he had not suffered any harm.
A national audit of prescribing practices in CAMHS is to take place after an internal review of 1,500 records describing the treatment 227 children received from Dr. David Kromer as “at risk”.
The issues raised in the report have been referred by the HSE to An Garda Síochána and the Medical Council. The conclusions of the the review confirmed concerns raised by a whistleblower about the doctor-in-training prescribing drugs to children and young people, and it found no evidence that the concerns had been addressed after they were raised were first raised in 2018.
The mother of a South Kerry boy, who twice attempted suicide while outpatient at South Kerry CAMHS, has received an apology from the HSE but also received a ‘safe’ letter saying his son was not negatively affected by the treatment he received.
“I don’t accept this letter. They apologized to me in a face-to-face meeting, so I don’t accept that no harm has been done to my child,” the woman said. , who cannot be named to protect her son’s identity.She is on the committee of the newly formed support group and said they would describe to politicians the need for a new investigation.
“We will tell TDs that it is necessary to carry out a new investigation into all this. It is important that there are parental comments in this second report that needs to be done. How can they say that 46 children suffered “significant harm” and that 227 children were at risk of harm out of 1,500 children? It needs to be reviewed and there needs to be more transparency,” she said.
Keith Rolls of Coleman Legal (South) is representing a number of affected families in Kerry, many of whom are taking legal action against the HSE. He described the HSE’s silence on not yet informing the 46 families whose children suffered significant harm as “really appalling”.
Gardaí, in the south of the county, has received a number of formal complaints from concerned parents. However, there is no certainty that criminal investigations will follow, informed sources said.
Each complaint will be assessed to determine if it meets the criminality threshold. The assessment will establish whether there are grounds to suspect that a crime has been committed, with poisoning and endangerment being among the potential categories of offenses against which complaints will be assessed. According to judicial sources, the case is “very complex”.
Affected families can contact Kerry CAMHS Family Support Group at [email protected]