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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

OP60. A better future now: Position statement on psychiatric services for children and adolescents in Ireland


Price: £10.00

Published: Sep 2005

Status: current

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OP60. A Better Future NowIn this report the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the Irish College of Psychiatrists sets out where psychiatric services for children and adolescents are now, estimates the need for services, and presents a model for future services.

The principles and recommendations set out by a variety of bodies are translated into a programme for the development of child and adolescent psychiatric services in the Republic of Ireland. The position statement also proposes a strategic action plan for implementation, to bring the service into the future.

The funding of the mental health services in 2003 accounted for just 6.8% of the health budget, amounting to €622.8 million. Child and adolescent psychiatric services account for only 5–10% of spending on mental health services, while serving 22.68% of the population (around €53 per child under 16 years of age). The Faculty has made an estimate of the additional service resources and funding needed for a wide range of specialist services, such as in- and out-patient services, adolescent services, intellectual disability services, forensic services, service evaluatio and services for looked-after children.

  • There are currently 55 whole-time equivalent (WTE) consultant child and adolescent psychiatry posts in the Republic of Ireland, a ratio of 1:16 150 of the population under 16 years of age. In Finland this ratio is 1:6000 (of the population aged 0–19 years).
  • There are currently 40 specialist out-patient multidisciplinary teams (the recommended number is 59) serving local communities, the majority of which are significantly below the recommended multidisciplinary staffing complement.
  • In-patient facilities for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents under the age of 16 years are located in two centres which have a total of 20 beds (the recommended number is 156 beds).
  • The in-patient facilities for the 16- to 17-year age group require an additional 80 beds.
  • Adolescent services are poorly developed.
  • Sub-specialty services have to date been developed to a very limited degree.
  • A comprehensive service for young people up to the age of 18 years would require a total of 150 WTE consultant child and adolescent psychiatry posts.
  • The recommended service level for young people up to the age of 18 years would require an extra annual expenditure of approximately €80 million and a capital investment of approximately €150 million.
  • The Faculty requests that the Ministry of Health and Children undertakes further analysis and reports back to the Minister of Health with advice on the workforce development, funding plans and time frames necessary to support full implementation of the recommendations set out in this policy statement.

 

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ISBN for OP60:
978-1-904671-29-9