A second doctor in Co Kerry is now accused of substandard care, including allegedly overprescribing medication at a child psychiatric centre, as the Kerry CAMHS controversy deepens.
he Sunday independent understands that this second doctor is based in North Kerry.
Almost two weeks ago, it emerged that the HSE was conducting a second review of files that Dr. David Kromer, the doctor initially at the center of the South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) drug scandal.
Thousands of files in the neighboring North Kerry CAMHS area are under investigation to identify cases in which Dr. Kromer was involved.
The HSE has Dr. Kromer not named – but he was codenamed NCHD1.
Concerns raised in North Kerry CAMHS about a second clinician are understood to include claims of substandard care and alleged overprescribing.
Keith Rolls, a partner at Coleman Legal, which represents around 200 affected families in South and North Kerry, said the second clinician was a concern for some of his clients.
“At this stage we are being directed by up to 50 families from North Kerry,” Mr Rolls said. “The vast majority of the North Kerry families we are informed of have not been treated by the doctor referred to as NCHD1 in the Maskey report [into the south Kerry claims].
“However, very different and similar patterns have emerged in the treatment they received in terms of inappropriate medications and inappropriate assessments to ensure a comprehensive diagnosis.”
dr Kromer, a Czech-born non-consulting hospital doctor, is not currently practicing pending the outcome of a Medical Council investigation.
Earlier this year, the Maskey Report at South Kerry CAMHS described the treatment given to 227 children by the doctor over a four-year period between 2016 and 2020 as “risky”. Evidence of significant harm to 46 service users was also found. The treatment of 13 children by other doctors was also described as “risky”.
Mr Rolls said he expected cases in North Kerry to require further review.
“The treatment is carried out according to our instructions [in north Kerry] also occurred outside of the time limits documented in the Maskey report.
“With North Kerry’s current review completed in October and given the guidance our office has received, we expect that a full retrospective review of North Kerry will also be required.”
Local Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly previously said he fears the situation in North Kerry will prove “as bad” as South Kerry.
Among those who suffered significant harm in the South Kerry cases were children who suffered from weight gain, daytime sleepiness and elevated blood pressure as a result of inappropriate diagnosis and treatment.
In one case, a child developed transient galactorrhea, the production of breast milk, as a result of treatment with risperidone, an antipsychotic drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Details on the extent of the scandal and the involvement of Dr. Kromer were first published by the Irish Independent in January.
A second file search in North Kerry recently began covering cases spanning five years up to April last year.
Concerning files are reported by Dr. Sean Maskey, the same UK-based consultant child psychiatrist who led the South Kerry review.
A spokesman for the health service said, “Any cases where there may be a clinical problem will be reviewed by Dr. Sean Maskey verified” once the files have been reviewed.
“We have Dr. Asked Maskey to undertake this work based on his experience, knowledge and familiarity with the work he has already done.”
The review is independent of a random review of 50 files currently being conducted at North Kerry CAMHS. This is being done to see if a more comprehensive review of cases in this area is needed. The 50-file review will be conducted by a team of specialist consultants led by a national clinical consultant and mental health group leader, Dr. Amir Niazi, carried out. It should be ready by the end of October.
South Kerry’s CAMHS scandal only came to light after a consulting psychiatrist, Dr. Ankur Sharma, was busted after discovering that children were being prescribed inappropriate medications, including antipsychotics, and diagnosed with ADHD without performing the necessary diagnostic tests.
Gardaí have invited parents and guardians of children they believe have been harmed to get in touch. The force said assessments would be conducted by a team of specialists within the Kerry Divisional Protective Services Unit to determine whether the complaint met the threshold for a criminal investigation to be launched.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/second-doctor-accused-of-over-prescription-in-kerry-child-mental-health-services-42032964.html Second doctor accused of overprescribing child mental health services in Kerry