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04th Feb 2022

ADHD Ireland say voices of children with ADHD must be heard in CAMHS review

Melissa Carton

“There has always been concern among parents around their children and ADHD medication.”

People with ADHD must be clearly heard in the independent review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

That’s according to ADHD Ireland, the national charity supporting parents of children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

ADHD Ireland was commenting in response to the publication of the South Kerry CAMHS report, which shows that at least 30 per cent of all children going through CAMHS are there for ADHD assessment and treatment.

Commenting this week, Ken Kilbride CEO of ADHD Ireland, said:

“Following on from the publication of the recent South Kerry CAMHS report we can only echo the words of An Taoiseach Michael Martin T.D. when he said it was an ‘unacceptable’ and a ‘profoundly serious issue’.

We welcome the appointment of Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, Mental Health Commission to carry out the review and audit of CAMHS. The outcome of the review will have an impact on children with ADHD in CAMHS.

Therefore, Dr Finnerty’s experience will be of great value in carrying out a thorough and comprehensive review.

It is also proposed that a prescribing audit will be conducted in each of the 72 CAMHS teams nationally.

We would ask that any audit does not limit itself to prescribing but rather takes a holistic approach to the treatment of children with ADHD. Any audit that simply just looks at medication, is frankly missing half the picture when it comes to the treatment of children with ADHD”.

ADHD Ireland also expressed concern regarding recent public commentary of CAMHS and children with ADHD.

Speaking further on the issue, Ken Kilbride added;

“There has always been concern among parents around their children and ADHD medication.

It is accepted that ADHD medication can have side effects, however headlines linking ADHD medication and turning children into zombies, is dangerous.

While we cannot comment on individual cases Dr Maskey’s report on South Kerry CAMHS clearly states ADHD specific treatments have a solid evidence base, the adverse effects are well understood and treatment using accepted European guidelines is safe and effective”.