Child mental health services to relocate from building after concerns raised

Psychiatrist previously based at Slaney House in Wexford says building was ‘in a state’

Dr Kieran Moore, a specialist consultant paediatric psychiatrist, previously based at Slaney House told an Oireachtas committee  he was resigning as his position was “untenable and unsafe”. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Dr Kieran Moore, a specialist consultant paediatric psychiatrist, previously based at Slaney House told an Oireachtas committee he was resigning as his position was “untenable and unsafe”. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

 

Child and adolescent mental health services operating from a building previously described as “in a state” by a paediatric psychiatrist in Co Wexford are expected to be relocated elsewhere by the end of the year.

The Wexford South Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) team currently operates from Slaney House on the Newtown Road.

Dr Kieran Moore, a specialist consultant paediatric psychiatrist, previously based at Slaney House told an Oireachtas committee in June that he was resigning as his position was “untenable and unsafe”.

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly said in correspondence to Wexford TD Paul Kehoe, dated August 31st, 2018, that the team will be relocating from Slaney House “to a newly refurbished location at Arden House, Wexford, when renovation works and alterations have been completed”.

“This work should be completed by the end of the year. No decision has been taken regarding the future use of Slaney House after the Camhs service vacates the premises.”

New premises

Separate correspondence from the Minister noted the Cahms team was “actively involved” in the design and layout of the new premises.

The correspondence was released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The HSE said it is working with all stakeholders “to progress this project”.

Mr Daly said work is continuing to be carried out at Arden House to make it a “suitable premises” for child and adolescent mental health services.

“It [Slaney House] was an old building in need of some modernisation and also lack of space; I understand the new building will accommodate much more space,” he told The Irish Times.

Mr Daly said he visited Slaney House in 2017 and met Dr Moore who raised concerns regarding the premises at the time.

Dr Moore said the building “wasn’t ever fit for purpose”. He said there were issues around privacy when examining patients and that the rooms “weren’t designed with safety in mind”.

“There weren’t enough rooms from a staff’s point of view, there were five staff in one really small room,” he said.

Dr Moore, who now works at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin, noted renovations had been completed in recent years at Slaney House but that space remained a problem.

“It is a good thing that they are moving from Slaney House, if they do it properly,” he added.