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Kerry CAMHS scandal: Second major review of files involving junior doctor & More Breaking News

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The HSE is undertaking a second review of files involving the junior doctor at the centre of the South Kerry child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) medication scandal.

housands of files in the neighbouring North Kerry CAMHS area are now being examined to identify cases where Dr David Kromer had an involvement.

The Czech-born non-consultant hospital doctor is not practicing at present pending the outcome of a Medical Council investigation.

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Earlier this year a review of South Kerry CAMHS cases described the treatment 227 children received from the doctor during a four-year period as “risky” and found proof of significant harm to 46 service users.

The treatment 13 children received from other doctors was also described as “risky”.

Among those who experienced significant harm were children who suffered from weight gain, daytime sleepiness, and raised blood pressure as a result of being inappropriately diagnosed and medicated.

In one case a child developed transient galactorrhoea, the production of breast milk, as a result of treatment with Risperidone, an anti-psychotic drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, by the junior doctor.

Details of the extent of the scandal and Dr Kromer’s involvement were first revealed by the Irish Independent in January.

The second trawl of files began recently and involves cases from a five-year period up to April of last year.

It is expected between 20 and 50 cases involving Dr Kromer will be found in North Kerry.

Some of these cases may be children who were treated by Dr Kromer when he did emergency department shifts at University Hospital Kerry in Tralee.

Files of concern will be examined by Dr Sean Maskey, the same UK-based consultant child psychiatrist who led the South Kerry review.

A statement to the Irish Independent from the HSE did not name Dr Kromer, but he is the doctor referred to by the code name NCHD1.

“For completeness and as a matter of good practice, we are now reviewing files in North Kerry so that we can identify files where NCHD1 may have had an involvement, at any level,” the statement said.

“Once we have screened these files, any cases where there may be a potential for a clinical concern will be reviewed by Dr Sean Maskey. We have asked Dr Maskey to do this work given his experience, his knowledge and his familiarity given the work he has already done.

“Dr Maskey will be available to undertake this review of any such files identified in the coming months.”

The review is separate from a random audit of 50 files currently underway at North Kerry CAMHS. This is being conducted to determine if an even wider review of cases in the area is required.

One local TD, Sinn Féin representative Pa Daly, has previously said he fears the situation in North Kerry will prove to be “as bad” as that in South Kerry.

The 50-file audit is being conducted by a team of specialist consultants, under national clinical adviser and group lead for mental health Dr Amir Niazi.

It is now due to be completed by the end of October.

The South Kerry CAMHS scandal only came to light after a locum consultant psychiatrist, Dr Ankur Sharma, turned whistleblower after discovering that children were being prescribed inappropriate drugs, including anti-psychotics, and were being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without the necessary diagnostic tests being carried out.

Dr Kromer stood by his prescribing practices when these concerns were put to him by the Irish Independent.

“I do not regret any decision. I would make them again. That is how I feel about it,” he said in an interview earlier this year.

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