An investigation has been launched into the practice of doctors who cared for two Dundee suicide victims shortly before they died.
The General Medical Council (GMC) investigations centre on the care of Dale Thomson, 28, and David Ramsay, 50, who both took their own lives after visiting Dundee’s Carseview psychiatric centre.
Mr Thomson took his own life after discharging himself from the centre in 2015, while Mr Ramsay killed himself after being turned away from the same centre the following year.
A public outcry surrounding the deaths led to NHS Tayside launching an independent inquiry into its mental health services.
Now the GMC, which maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK, has launched its own investigation after “reviewing information in the press.”
The medical staff involved in the care have not yet been named, however, the family of Mr Ramsay received a letter from the organisation confirming the investigation, while family of Mr Thomson have also been contacted.
Gillian Murray, the niece of Mr Ramsay, said: “We absolutely welcome this investigation.
“We’ve been saying for the past two years it’s clear that the staff involved with David’s care failed him.
“Now there are various different investigations to determine exactly why he was failed and whether the staff involved are fit to practise.
“David lost his life through sheer negligence.”
Mr Ramsay, who had been experiencing psychotic episodes, was advised to “pull himself together” and to do “normal things” like take his dog for a walk.
After twice being turned away from Carseview, he was found dead at Templeton Woods four days later on October 9 2016.
Meanwhile, Mr Thomson turned to Carseview for help after barricading himself in his flat in January 2015.
He was allowed to leave the centre by doctors, however, and was found dead in his Charleston home just over two weeks later by mum Mandy McLaren.
A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the death of Mr Thomson, though finding his death “unavoidable”, did highlight shortcomings in NHS systems which were “relevant” to his death.
Ms McLaren also confirmed she had been called by the GMC and had instructed the body to speak with her lawyers.
She said: “They said they had been looking over newspaper clippings.
“It’s a good thing but I don’t hold out much hope that anything will get done.
“I would like to be proved wrong though. Something needs to change.”
A campaign by families claimed at least 10 suicides could have been prevented had better help been given at the mental health unit.
It is not known whether any other families in Tayside have been contacted.
A spokesperson for the GMC said the organisation would not comment on any ongoing investigations into individual doctors.
Link to Courier article here