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HSE insists it is investigating claims South Kerry CAMHS accuser was abused

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The HSE conducted an internal review of allegations that the South Kerry CAMHS whistleblower was cast aside after raising concerns about overprescribing and misprescribing drugs to children.

Senior officials repeatedly refused to answer questions about the treatment of alleged doctor Ankur Sharma at an Oireachtas committee yesterday.

However, the chief executive of the HSE, Anne O’Connor, told politicians that a review of Dr Sharma’s complaints was under way.

Concerns raised by a local consultant psychiatrist in September 2020 led to the uncovering of a major scandal in the provision of care to hundreds of young people participating in Mental Health Services. South Kerry Children and Adolescents (CAMHS).

However, Dr Sharma claims he has been asked to quit, stripped of his role of medical team leader and reassigned to administrative duties after begging for more resources to deal with what he had found.

He insists it was done on the basis that he was at risk of burnout, even though a medical assessment found him fit and normal.

Both Ms O’Connor and Michael Fitzgerald, directors of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, declined to answer questions about his allegations at a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health. The stone wall has provoked an angry reaction from some TDs.

“It is unacceptable for seniors from the HSE to come here and refuse to answer questions about a very basic issue regarding the treatment of a whistleblower,” said Róisín Shortall, party co-leader. Social Democrat said.

Sinn Féin medical department spokesman David Cullinane said Dr Sharma had been treated “very, very badly” and it was “unacceptable” that HSE would not answer questions about the matter.

Ms O’Connor insisted it was not appropriate to comment as HSE was in the “engagement process” with Dr Sharma.

She said the review of the files has been completed by Jackie Nix, the assistant national director of human resources, and it is currently being reviewed to determine a course of action.

The hearing comes five weeks after the release of the Maskey report, which reports on child care in South Kerry CAMHS.

It found 227 children received risky care from a junior doctor with little supervision, known as Dr David Kromer, between June 2016 and April 2021. The treatment 13 children by other physicians were also found to be at risk, while evidence of significant harm was found in 46 cases. Major failures in monitoring and governance were also found.

Ms O’Connor reiterated the apology made to those affected in January. She said a newly formed National Monitoring Group will sign off on the standards for a national prescribing test, which will first focus on the treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD).

The committee heard concerns about prescribing expanding beyond South Kerry.

Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward said a 16-year-old girl referred to North Kerry CAMHS was issued a Prozac immediately. Her dosage was increased at the third visit. She was then given an anti-psychotic medication called “a sleeping pill”.

The girl’s parents searched for non-drug therapies for her, but she ended up on a waiting list.

Mr Ward said the drug had turned her “into a recluse” and she was starting to lose touch with reality. She then moved to South Kerry CAMHS where she was seen by Dr. Sharma.

“He immediately gave her medication. In his professional opinion, she was on the wrong medication,” he said.

TD asked why, right after looking at Maskey, the girl received a letter saying that she was not harmed.

“Parents say their daughters have missed out on so many opportunities in life because of drug overdoses or misdiagnoses,” he said.

Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin cited the case of a girl who took her own life weeks after her promised South Kerry CAMHS date failed to come true. He said the review of the case has been going on for six months. “It took too long. We needed an answer for this particular case,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said the review was “highest priority” and expected it to be completed in the coming months.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/hse-insists-it-is-probing-claims-south-kerry-camhs-whistleblower-had-been-mistreated-41405061.html HSE insists it is investigating claims South Kerry CAMHS accuser was abused

Fry Electronics Team

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