New Limerick hub will provide alternative to hospital for acute childrens service

St Joseph's Health Campus on Mulgrave Street.

A NEW centre, which will offer an alternative to hospital for children and young people in need of acute mental health treatment, is to open in the coming weeks in Limerick city.

The new hub will provide acute treatment at home or in a day care setting for children and young people.

Based at St Joseph’s Campus in Mulgrave Street, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) hub is being developed under a national clinical programme, for which the Mid West is a pilot site.

Details of the service come as CAMHS announced a substantial cut in waiting lists and a number of key appointments to the service n the Mid West.

The September meeting of the Regional Health Forum West was told that  lists for mental health supports for children and young adults in the Mid West have been slashed by more than a third since 2021 with no child waiting more than 12 months for services.

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Updated information about the service and the new hub was provided Maria Bridgeman, Chief Officer at HSE Mid West Community Healthcare, in answer to a question from Clare Forum member Cllr Mary Howard (FG) who asked for current figures on waiting lists for CAMHS services in the Mid West.

Ms Bridgeman said: “It is intended that the Hub and associated pathways will provide an alternative to inpatient care, providing children and young people with acute treatment at home or in the Hub Day Hospital as appropriate.”

The Limerick-based hub will provide services for all of the Mid West and is due to open doors in the coming weeks, according to the Chief Officer.

Ms Bridgeman said that while the service itself will start shortly, plans for a physical centre for the new service is underway.

“A major capital plan for a new CAMHS Centre and Day Hospital located on the St Joseph’s Hospital Campus site, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, is being progressed.

“Capital funding is approved. A design team is finalising its work and is gone for planning with a completion date of 2026.”

Meanwhile, it was also announced at the meeting that a CAMHS MHID is in development, with a view to offering specialised mental health support to children with an intellectual disability. Ms Bridgeman said the service is due to commence towards the end of this year.