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"My son"

About: Child and Adolescent Mental Services / Inishowen CAMHS Team

(as a parent/guardian),

Services moved to Buncrana when we were much more suited to service in Letterkenny. The journey is too long for my son and appointments sent out dont suit as I have other children I have to consider when these appointments are sent out. No one took the kids with mental health issues or their families into consideration when services where moved. Yes, Inishowen need their own services but so does the area surrounding Letterkenny, where families had shorter journeys and could be not too far away from when other kids in family would be getting out of school

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Responses

Response from Tom Foley, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Inishowen CAMHS Team, Donegal Mental Health Services 2 months ago
Tom Foley
Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Inishowen CAMHS Team,
Donegal Mental Health Services
Submitted on 30/11/2022 at 14:53
Published on Care Opinion on 02/12/2022 at 08:41


Dear Katt101,

Thank you for leaving this feedback and I am sorry that you and your son now have a longer journey to our office.

Since its setup in 2021, the Inishowen CAMHS team (which also covers patients who have a GP in Raphoe, Manor and Newtowncunnignham) have shared an office in Letterkenny. The office there was not big enough for the full team to see young people and their families. More importantly, most of our patients had to travel long distances to reach us (often well over an hour).

We were delighted recently to move out of the office in Letterkenny and into to a new state of the art building in Buncrana. We now have space for all of our clinicians, young people and families. We are also co-located with the other services that we work closely with.

Unfortunately, whatever location we chose would mean slightly longer journeys for some people. In our new location, the average travel time for our young people is now much shorter, as is the maximum distance that anyone has travel. We are really sorry that a small number of people, including yourself, will have a longer journey and we understand that this can cause real challenges for busy families.

Covering a rural area, where our families can be spread out and far from public transport, we are constantly trying to make the service more accessible. Where appropriate, we have the option of doing telephone or video appointments. Some of our staff have also taken on extended hours, to provide appointments that fit in better with family life. If you receive an appointment for a time that doesn't suit, then please get in touch as soon as possible and we will always do our best to reschedule to a time that suits better.

I realise that this response won't be entirely satisfactory, but I hope that it lets you see the compromise that we have tried to reach in choosing a location.

Regards,

Dr Tom Foley

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Update posted by Katt101 (a parent/guardian)

The best option for everyone is a place in Inishowen and Letterkenny. There are a lot of families in around my area who feel the same. We don't have public transport to take us to Buncrana. What are the people in Letterkenny who have kids like my son doing?

Is there services for them, if so why not included the areas that are a short distance from the town. There are a lot of kids that need help and I find it ridiculous that they don't have services in one of the major towns in the county for those in and around that locality

Response from Tom Foley, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Inishowen CAMHS Team, Donegal Mental Health Services 2 months ago
Tom Foley
Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Inishowen CAMHS Team,
Donegal Mental Health Services
Submitted on 06/12/2022 at 18:28
Published on Care Opinion on 08/12/2022 at 16:55


Dear Katt101,

Thanks for replying.

I wish that we had enough staff to run offices in Buncrana and Letterkenny, but unfortunately we are a really small team and could not work effectively across two sites.

There is a separate service covering Letterkenny and other parts of North Donegal. The boundaries for these teams had to be set according to national guidance, so that they covered roughly equal populations. If more areas were transferred into the team covering Inishowen, then that team would become overloaded and the Inishowen Team would not be large enough to offer a full range of services.

The team boundaries have to be drawn somewhere. We have tried to chose the locations that are best for most patients, but there will always be a small number of people who have to travel slightly further as a result of being near the boundary. I can only apologise that this has been the case for you.

Regards,

Tom

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