The chief executive of NHS Tayside has publicly apologised to patients, family and staff for the failings of mental health services laid bare in a damning report.
Grant Archibald has also pledged that he personally will oversee and drive change and improvement in the mental health care offered by the health board.
Mr Archibald spoke to the Tele six days after the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services in Tayside was published.
David Strang’s Trust and Respect report identified 51 recommendations to be implemented to improve mental health services in Tayside.
It also highlighted numerous failings, including a breakdown of trust and respect, a failure to deliver services, a lack of psychiatrists, a lack of leadership and a lack of accountability.
Mr Archibald said: “We apologise, I apologise to all patients and families who have felt let down by services.
“Our aim is to care for each individual patient. I apologise if that has not happened.”
“Dr Strang’s report was hugely important for Tayside and for the people of Tayside.
“We recognised 18 month ago the level of concern there was over mental health services in Tayside. We responded by commissioning the independent review.
“We now realise that it is important that we now learn from this report which goes into significant detail following interviews with 1,500 people during the process.
“It is important that we listen to these voices and to the experiences detailed by patients and others.
“First of all we apologise, we have listened and now we need to learn and change.
“We must rebuild confidence in the NHS and we recognise that that is not going to be easy.
“My personal commitment to the people of Tayside is that I will work with them to address all the recommendations made by Dr Strang in his report.”
Among the recommendations the board are now going to look at are the provision of a 24/7 crisis care centre.
A review will also take place into its current facilities, including Carseview, to establish whether they are fit for purpose.
Meanwhile, allegations of bullying from staff will also be investigated, and the board is also going to attempt to identify new ways of attracting more staff, including more psychiatrists.
Mr Archibald said that the process of change had already begin, with a statement of intent now signed by him, the chief executives of the local authorities in the board area, and police
He added: “This will take time but we will be listening and we are are committed to learning from past mistakes
“I personally will be playing a key role and will continually report back progress that is made.
“We are aware the the spotlight is now on us I will be ensuring that all the recommendations made by Dr Strang to improve mental health services are acted upon.”
“I recognise there are challenges with all of these issues but there is a real enthusiasm to meet these challenges and improve mental health services provided by NHS Tayside.”
Mr Archibald said Dr Strang will return in a year’s time, by which point he hoped to “provide him with the evidence that change is actively taking place”.
Link to Evening Telegraph article here