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Psychiatry Conference 2019: Creation and Development of an out of hours Child and Adolescent Mental Health Emergency Service

Anne-Frederique Naviaux


Having 25% of the total population aged under 18y old, Ireland struggles to provide appropriate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS); this is directly connected to the lack of CAMHS consultants to lead these services.  Accessing the existing CAMHS, especially in emergency, is particularly difficult as the waiting lists are ever growing, and therefore delaying the possibility of an early first appointment.

To palliate this, in Wexford and Waterford, we decided to be creative and to develop a new type of service: an out-of-hours Emergency Mental Health Service for young people, which provide assessments and interventions for under 18y old patients with Mental Health issues presenting in Emergency Department (ED) and/or hospitalised on a Ward. This new service functions with extremely limited resources (one consultant Psychiatrist and one Psychiatrist in training) and operates between 3 sites.

Results:  A total of 675 interventions were delivered by the consultant responsible for that new Service over a period of 7 months (between February and August 2018).  59% of these interventions were made by phone while 41% required a face to face consultation.

Conclusion & Significance:  Following this study, not only has this new service been maintained but it will be developed and might also serve as a model for the other regions of Ireland which might want to develop a similar service.


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