I thank the Deputy for his question. The HSE confirmed that as of 2 February, the latest available data show there were 23 children on the Longford-north Westmeath CAMHS waiting list and 14 on the south Westmeath list. The primary care psychology service does not cross-check its waiting lists with CAMHS or other services to see whether children are on more than one list. It is my understanding, however, that there are children on both waiting lists. All children are accepted or not accepted to primary care psychology services based on their clinical presentation and the appropriateness of primary care psychology to meet those clinical needs. Just before Christmas, I allocated €4 million for an initiative to reduce the number of children and young people under 18 years of age who have been waiting more than 12 months for a primary care psychology appointment. I am delighted that we were able to reduce the list by more than 1,600 young people in that time. Further investment of approximately €1.4 million for quarter 1 has been secured to support that ongoing initiative.
All 73 CAMHS teams throughout the country will be audited. There is a three-pronged approach from the HSE, with the first part consisting of a full nationwide audit of compliance with existing CAMHS operational guidelines, structures, processes, teams composition, skills mix and standard operating procedures. The second component will involve qualitative research to identify the experiences of children, and their families, who use CAMHS. All three components are important but I consider the third to be particularly so. It will involve an independently led audit conducted across all CAMHS teams, to include a random selection of files proportionate to the medical caseload from a continuous six-month, predefined time period in 2021. Coupled with that, the Mental Health Commission, representatives of which I met with yesterday, is conducting its own review.