Lack of child psychology services is ‘extremely worrying’

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Maurice Quinlivan TD

LIMERICK Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan says it is “extremely worrying” that there has been no permanent child psychologist in the Limerick Early Intervention Service (LEIS) since last August.

He also raised concerns that LEIS has written to parents in the region to state only very urgent cases can now be dealt with due to a lack of staff and resources.

“Letters were sent to parents in Limerick stating that due to ‘a lack of psychology staff resources and no maternity cover for existing staff’ LEIS is ‘no longer able to provide support’ for children in Limerick, except in very urgent cases,” Deputy Quinlivan explained.

“I am furious at this development, as I highlighted this problem with the Minister for Health back in February.

“No action was taken by the Minister, and he has let this develop into a dire situation where all services, except extreme cases where children are self-harming or hurting others are to be diverted to waiting lists.”

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“Last February, the HSE confirmed that there has been no permanent child psychologist in the LEIS since last August and there will not be a permanent staff member until November at the earliest.

“The HSE also confirmed that 953 children were on the waiting lists for assessment and intervention in Limerick alone. This was deeply worrying at the time but this new development is really shocking.

“There are 250 very young children waiting between three and nine months for this service in Limerick and this is wholly unacceptable,” he concluded.

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