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Charity football match raises more than £1,000 in memory of Dundee dad Lee

Charity football match raises more than £1,000 in memory of Dundee dad Lee

A charity football match in memory of a young dad from Dundee has raised almost £1,000.

Lee Welsh, 27, was found dead at his Peddie Street home in the city’s West End in August 2017.

Last year, Lee’s childhood friend Steve Martin organised a memorial football match, which raised more than £1,000 for the Dundee Association for Mental Health (DAMH).

A follow-up match was held at North End Park on Saturday.

Lee’s mum Lesley Nicoll said it raised just over £900.

She added: “Combined with a bake sale held by a family member at their work, in total we have recently raised just over £1,100.

“The money is going to Art Angel on behalf of the Not in Vain for Lee charity. We are very grateful for everyone’s generosity.”

Lee Welsh.

Lesley is now planning to undertake a charity abseil at Dundee University Tower on August 18 to raise more money in her son’s name.

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Patients’ concerns highlighted in NHS Tayside mental health inquiry report

Patients’ concerns highlighted in NHS Tayside mental health inquiry report

Illegal drugs on wards and concerns over patient restraint have been highlighted in a report into NHS Tayside’s mental health services.

The independent inquiry’s interim report has identified “key themes for further investigation” after hearing evidence from more than 1,300 people.

It said some patients were frightened of certain staff members.

NHS Tayside said improvements had been made in key areas highlighted in the interim report.

The inquiry is reviewing safety, care standards and access to mental health services.

An investigation was initially ordered into Dundee’s Carseview Centre but was expanded following a campaign by families of people who took their own lives.

More than 200 written submissions were received by the inquiry team following its call for evidence, and more than 70 oral evidence sessions were held.

It said the key themes were patient access to mental health services, patient sense of safety, quality of care, organisational learning, leadership and governance.

Referring to risk management, the report said: “Patients report telling staff they were suicidal but the risk was not taken seriously until they made a serious attempt to take their own life.”

‘Violated and traumatised’

In relation to patient safety, the report noted: “Some patients report being frightened of certain staff on the wards who have a poor attitude to the patients in their care.

“Others mentioned that another patient had assaulted them whilst they were on the ward.”

The report said the use of restraint within inpatient facilities was of “great concern” to patients, who had experienced it or witnessed it taking place.

It said: “Patients feel violated and traumatised, particularly if they have personally suffered violent abuse in the past.”

People talking

It added that staff seemed unable to control the availability and use of illegal drugs on the wards in the inpatient facilities.

“Both patients and families report seeing drugs delivered, sold and taken within the Carseview Centre site,” the report said.

“Staff confirm this is a serious issue which is not being adequately addressed.

“There is a lack of support from management for frontline staff attempting to address this issue and it is having a detrimental effect on patient care and treatment regimes”.

‘Unexpected and concerning’

In a section on the Crisis Service, the report said that the Crisis team “struggles to respond to sudden surges in demand on the service.”

It said: “There are occasions when the length of time to wait to be seen is long and families supporting someone in crisis are advised to phone the police or NHS24, if they are worried.

“This advice is unexpected and concerning to carers coping with a crisis in a domestic situation.”

The report said the centralisation of the out-of-hours Crisis team to Carseview Centre has had a “detrimental effect on those patients in Angus and Perth & Kinross who are experiencing mental health crisis”.

It said: “There is a perception that whilst the Crisis service has expanded in recent months, the situation has worsened in terms of patients being assessed then not being offered any crisis intervention, or referred back to the GP.”

Inquiry chairman David Strang said: “The themes which have been identified will shape the next stage of the inquiry.

“Our final report will include conclusions and recommendations which will lead to the improvement of mental health services in Tayside.”

‘Top priority’

NHS Tayside chief executive Grant Archibald said: “We are taking on board all comments in the interim report, alongside the feedback we received from the Health and Social Care Alliance (the Alliance) published in their report in December 2018.

“The key themes which have been identified in both the Alliance report and in today’s interim report are recognised by the board and the mental health leadership team – and we are taking action on these.

“I also recognise and want to thank the many staff who are already working really hard to improve services and look forward to their continued support.

“It is clear that we have further work to do but since I came to Tayside, I have made mental health a top priority and I am confident we can learn lessons, strengthen our engagement with patients, service users, families and the public and make the right kinds of changes, at the right time, to transform our mental health services.”

He added: “We would like to thank everyone who has shared their experiences so far and we look forward to the independent inquiry’s final report and recommendations which will be a major influence on the future shape of mental health services in Tayside.”

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Report into Tayside mental health services to be published ‘imminently’

Report into Tayside mental health services to be published ‘imminently’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said an interim report into mental health services in Tayside will be published “imminently”.

Responding to questions from Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard about the inquiry, Ms Sturgeon said she would expect relatives who campaigned for the inquiry to be given advance copies of the interim report, which is expected to be published this month.

The inquiry was launched following a public campaign by families who blamed poor care at the Carseview Psychiatric Centre at Ninewells Hospital for a series of suicides.

The interim report will be published next week although it will be several months before the full inquiry report is completed.

Mr Leonard told the First Minister that some of the relatives whose campaigning led to the inquiry feel they have not been kept up-to-date with its progress and believe it is not “transparent”.

He said that when the inquiry was set up then health secretary Shona Robison said it should be seen as “a force for good” and asked if Ms Sturgeon believed this aspiration is being met.

Mr Sturgeon said it would be wrong for the Scottish Government to “pre-empt” the inquiry but said its findings would be scrutinised and any recommendations acted upon.

She added: “Of course we want to learn lessons and our sympathies are with the families who have experienced those losses.

“We established an independent inquiry in Tayside. That hasn’t yet reported. I hope it will report soon and it will be fully scrutinised by the government.”

Mr Leonard said Mandy McLaren, the mother of Dundee suicide victim Dale Thomson, has lost confidence in the inquiry.

He said: “She asked me to ask you directly if families will see an advance copy of the interim report before it is published.

“Will you listen to the voices of those families? Will you do what you can do to restore their confidence in this inquiry?”

Ms Sturgeon replied: “This inquiry is being led by David Strang. It is an independent inquiry.

“If the government was interfering in the conduct of that inquiry,  I am sure Richard Leonard would be raising that in the chamber.

“I understand David Strang has met with family members. It would be full my expectation that an advance copy of the report would go to those directly affected.

“I will pass that specific point to David Strang but I would stress it is an independent inquiry.”

Earlier, Conservative MSP Bill Bowman pressed health secretary Jeane Freeman over plans for a 24-hour crisis centre in Dundee.

Councillor Ken Lynn, the the vice-chairman of Dundee Heath and Social Care Partnership, has  pledged his “total commitment” to creating a centre in Dundee, but Ms Freeman the issue had not been raised with her or the minister for mental health, Claire Haughey.

Mr Bowman said later: “It was clear from the cabinet secretary’s answer that the SNP are disconnected from the challenges faced on the ground.

“There seems to be no plans for the new centre in Dundee, or for the government to help NHS Tayside create one.”

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Parents hit out at thieves who stole from grave of tragic Dundee dad Lee

Parents hit out at thieves who stole from grave of tragic Dundee dad Lee

The parents of a young Dundee dad who took his own life have hit out at thieves who stole sentimental trinkets from their son’s grave.

Parents Phil and Lesley at a mural which was painted in tribute to their son Lee

Lee Welsh, 27, was found dead at his Peddie Street home in the city’s West End in August 2017 after suffering from depression.

His dad Phil and mum Lesley discovered the heartbreaking theft when they visited Lee’s grave at Birkhill Cemetery on Sunday.

Phil said: “Lesley had four little glass trinkets in the shape of diamonds hanging on the little fence that goes round the gravestone.

“They aren’t worth anything financially but they are significant to us as a family as the words ‘Shine on you crazy diamond’ from a Pink Floyd song are engraved on the gravestone.

“We know they aren’t worth any money but it has been really upsetting for us.

“When we realised they had been taken we were really hurt.”

Phil added: “Whoever took them probably doesn’t think too much about what they have done but I want them to realise that taking things from a grave can be desperately upsetting for those left behind and grieving.

“People should think more carefully about their actions and be aware of the hurt they can cause.”

Since Lee died, Phil and Lesley have been campaigning for a 24/7 crisis centre in Dundee to give immediate access to people having suicidal thoughts.

They have also organised various fundraising events for groups and centres that currently offer support.

The next event is a soup and pudding lunch to be held at Dundee West Church on May 25.

Money raised from the lunch will this year go to the Art Angel charity.

Lesley said: “Art Angel is a unique and inspired arts project run by and for people with experience of mental health difficulties in Dundee.

“It helps people work towards recovery and mental wellbeing.”

A similar event last year raised almost £1,000 for Dundee Association for Mental Health (DAMH).

The second Lee Welsh memorial football match is also planned for July 20.

It will be held at North End Park and this year the money raised will be donated to Art Angel on behalf of the Not in Vain for Lee charity.

As well as football, there will be other attractions including a bouncy castle, face and henna painting and a demonstration by Dundee Mods Scooter Club.

Last year’s match, organised by Lee’s childhood friend Steve Martin, raised more than £1,000 for DAMH.

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Health chief ‘totally committed’ to creating 24-hour mental health crisis centre in Dundee

Health chief ‘totally committed’ to creating 24-hour mental health crisis centre in Dundee

A Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership chief has pledged his ‘total commitment’ to establishing a new 24-hour mental health crisis centre in the city.

Councillor Ken Lynn, vice chairman of the joint board, said he envisaged the hub would be separate from existing facilities such as Ninewells Hospital or Carseview, to be “more central, more in the community and staffed by mental health professionals”.

It comes after a commission set up to tackle poverty and deprivation in Dundee recommended the creation of a 24-hour drop-in service offering clinical, non-clinical, therapeutic and peer support.

The commission found people reaching crisis point outside normal working hours were unable to self-refer for support when they need it most and some campaigners have criticised policy makers for a perceived lack of action on the issue.

Councillor Lynn rejected any suggestion proposals have been “kicked into the long grass” and said he intended to speak to the new chairwoman of the integrated joint board, Trudy McLeay, about moving the project forward.

“There are a number of hoops we would need to go through before this comes to fruition,” he said.

“But I am very supportive of the idea – in fact, I don’t know anyone who is not.

“I have spoken with representatives of the mental health sub group of Dundee City Council and we agreed to set up an event to make a presentation to councillors. I expect that will happen over the next few weeks.

“I’m totally committed and willing to do whatever it takes to get the money for it, even if it means moving resources from other areas.”

Dundee-based MSP Jenny Marra called for the creation of a dedicated 24-hour emergency unit last year after Tayside’s most senior police officer revealed mental health was the force’s “greatest challenge”.

The call received the backing of a number of leading mental health charities and a petition by Ms Marra urging the Scottish Government to back the plans has now received more than 6,500 signatures.

© Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Jenny Marra MSP.

A number of those pledging support also left personal messages outlining how such a facility would have helped them or a loved one in their time of need.

Ms Marra said: “There is an urgent need in Dundee for a mental health crisis centre where people can refer themselves and get support any time of day or night.

“There is widespread support for this type of service in the city and it was recently recommended by the city-wide poverty commission.

“When I called for a crisis centre for Dundee in parliament last year, the First Minister said she agreed that there should be a crisis centre in Dundee but I’m not aware of any progress on this so far.

“There is a crisis centre that serves people in Edinburgh. There is no good reason why there should not be the same level of service in Dundee.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We’re committed to ensuring that we have the right support available in our NHS and care services for those who need it.

“An independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside is currently ongoing and we will ensure its findings are shared across Scotland and help shape service delivery in Dundee.”


Link to Courier article here 

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