The Health Service Executive has begun a review of the files of patients treated by a junior doctor in north Co Kerry over a five-year period up to April of last year.

A previous review of the doctor's work with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in south Kerry found that 46 children treated by the doctor had suffered significant harm.

The review found that a further 181 children had been exposed to the risk of significant harm through the doctor's diagnoses and treatment of them.

The review of 1,300 files of children who attended the HSE-run CAMHS in south Kerry was conducted by consultant psychiatrist, Dr Sean Maskey.

The HSE published his report in January.

The findings of failure in the service were described by Taoiseach Micheál Martin as unacceptable, and by HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid as completely wrong.

The significant harm suffered by the 46 children included considerable weight gain, high blood pressure, sedation during daytime and production of breast milk.

The doctor at the centre of the review also worked in north Kerry during the same five-year time frame.

He worked with CAMHS in north Kerry, as well as with other public healthcare providers there.

This evening, the HSE confirmed to RTÉ News that it is now reviewing patient files from north Kerry to identify those who had been treated by the junior doctor there.

This includes children who attended north Kerry CAMHS and were treated by the doctor there.

The files of patients who were treated by the doctor will be screened for what the HSE described as "potential for clinical concern".

Any cases of concern will then be reviewed by Dr Maskey.

The number of cases of concern is expected to be smaller than the approximately 230 files where failures were identified in South Kerry - perhaps as low as 50 or so.

This is because, the HSE believes, the majority of those files where there were issues were identified during the first review.

The HSE said it is conducting this further review "for completeness and as a matter of good practice".

When Dr Maskey's report was published in January, there were several calls at the time for his review to be extended to north Kerry, as it was known that the junior doctor had worked there too.

It is understood that the review of the north Kerry files has been under way for some time, and it is expected that it will take a number of months before Dr Maskey finishes reviewing any files forwarded to him.