CAMHS Compensation Scheme

The massive cost of the scandal at South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has now come to light following the approval by the Government of a non-adversarial compensation scheme.

The Maskey Report confirmed the treatment 227 children received from the doctor in question was “risky”, as was the treatment 13 children received from other doctors.

It also found proof of significant harm to 46 service users, including significant weight gain, raised blood pressure and the production of breast milk. Significant failings in the supervision of Dr Kromer and wider governance failings were also found.

At least 240 families will be able to apply for compensation without having to go to court under the plan. While it will be less costly than if claims were to be litigated in court, it is speculated the scheme is still likely to cost in excess of €20m, given the level of harm involved.

Letters issued by the HSE to the parents and guardians of children involved said they will be able to apply for compensation and clinical supports under a scheme administered by the State Claims Agency.

It is understood that families who opt for the scheme will receive an initial payment of €5,000 to assist with medical expenses before entering what is being described as a non-adversarial mediation process under which an offer of compensation will be made. A panel of independent psychiatrists will provide expert reports for the purposes of the mediation.

Parents were told these reports would not be disputed by the State Claims Agency, while liability will not be disputed either. If agreement on the level of compensation is not possible, a claim will be independently assessed by a senior counsel acting as a mediator. Families unhappy with the mediator’s decision can have it reviewed by retired former High Court president Peter Kelly.

Families will still have the option of pursuing claims in the courts if they opt not to use the mediation process. Please contact our offices on 021 2390620 or email us at info@mdmsolicitors.ie if you require more information or assistance.

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