New Inpatient Unit for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services opens in Dublin
Minister Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State for Mental Health, Primary Care and Social Care has officially opened a new purpose built inpatient unit for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at Linn Dara Cherry Orchard Campus Dublin.
The new facility includes two 11-bed units, one for the older adolescent age group up to the age of 18 years and one for children and younger adolescents. The unit also has a 2 bed intensive care area.
Attached to the unit is a 6 room school building, including an arts and crafts room and a home economics classroom. An occupational therapy suite is part of the facility. Sports and activity facilities include a sports hall, gymnasium and outdoor hard court. Young people and staff were consulted at each stage through the design process to ensure it meets the needs of young people and their families.
In recognition of the needs of parents a family apartment has been provided where families can stay when their child is admitted to the unit.
Speaking today at the opening of this new facility Minister Kathleen Lynch said; “The provision of appropriate CAMHS has been a priority over the past number of years. In 2007 there were a total of 12 beds available for the admission of children under the age of 18 years. Over the last number of years significant investment in the construction of new inpatient facilities has delivered new inpatient units here at Cherry Orchard as well as two new 20 bed units that opened in Galway and Cork in 2011. Development work in 2012 provided for an additional 6 beds in St Vincent’s Fairview which brought its capacity to 12 beds.
When children and adolescents are in need of acute mental health services, we need to ensure that the physical environment is suitable to help their recovery. This is important for the young people and their families. It is also important for those who are providing the specialist care, in order to give everybody the best chance at a successful outcome.”
Anne O’Connor National Director, HSE Mental Health said “I would like to congratulate the team that designed this new CAMHS Inpatient Unit in Linn Dara, and who consulted with staff and service users throughout the design process. The new facility will enhance the provision of accessible and appropriate services for young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties and the families that support them. There has been a huge amount of time, energy and work put into improving the services provided by CAMHS’ teams throughout the country, which has decreased waiting lists and inappropriate admissions of young people to adult facilities. It is heartening to see the care, dedication and commitment shown by CAMHS teams to the young people and the families that they serve.”
Dr Brendan Doody Clinical Director CAMHS Linn Dara added “We have delivered a new building especially designed to meet the needs of young people, and their families, who require inpatient mental health treatment. It is a state of the art facility that will provides the optimal therapeutic environment, coupled with a multi disciplinary staff team, to meet the needs of the young people admitted for assessment and treatment.”
The Linn Dara South West Dublin Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams and the Adolescent Day Hospital service are also located on the Cherry Orchard site since 2012. In bringing the inpatient service on to the same site allows greater integration of services for young people and their families with ease of access facilitating shorter lengths of inpatient admission.
HSE Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service comprise:
- 6 community mental health teams covering a population of 0.4 million, in South West Dublin, South Inner City and County Kildare.
- An Adolescent Day Programme which opened in September 2013.
- The South Dublin Community teams and the Adolescent Day Programme are accommodated since 2012 in a purpose built facility on the Cherry Orchard Hospital Campus.
- A Paediatric Liaison Service to The National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght.
- The Linn Dara service has strong links with Trinity College Dublin and the Professorial Chair of Child Psychiatry works on the autism /neuro developmental team.
The new Linn Dara Inpatient service is also located on the Cherry Orchard campus.
Further information on CAMHS is available on www.hse.ie/camhs
Note to Editor
The aim of admission to a child and adolescent inpatient unit is to:
- Provide accurate assessment of those with the most severe disorders.
- Implement specific and audited treatment programmes.
- Achieve the earliest possible discharge of the young person back to their family and ongoing care of the Community team.
Inpatient psychiatric treatment is usually indicated for children and adolescents with severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and mania. Other presentations include severe complex medical-psychiatric disorders such as anorexia / bulimia. Admission may also be required for clarification of diagnosis and appropriate treatment or for the commencement and monitoring of medication. The increasing incidence of the more severe mental health disorders in later adolescence increases the need for inpatient admission.
A Vision for Change (2006) stated that services for children up to the age of 18 years should be provided by Child and Adolescent Mental Health services and admissions from this age group must be to age appropriate facilities. The HSE has made the provision of additional child and adolescent inpatient units a priority, such that all young people under the age of 18 years are admitted to such age appropriate facilities.
In May 2012 the Linn Dara inpatient service moved to an interim facility on the St. Loman’s Hospital site in Palmerstown, Dublin 20. The unit had a capacity of 8 beds. In December 2014 an additional 6 beds were opened.
In 2014 there were a total of 46 admissions to the unit. To the end of November 2015 there were 80 admissions.
The newly constructed Community CAMHS building won the Healthcare Building of the Year Award in 2012