‘One-stop-shop’ mental health hub for youngsters opens in Dundee

‘One-stop-shop’ mental health hub for youngsters opens in Dundee

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Mental Health services in Dundee are ‘the worst in Scotland’ according to one patient

Mental Health services in Dundee are ‘the worst in Scotland’ according to one patient

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Dundee’s Carseview Centre under fire again over treatment

Dundee’s Carseview Centre under fire again over treatment

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Tayside mental health review hampered by ‘workforce challenges’ as objectors predicted

Tayside mental health review hampered by ‘workforce challenges’ as objectors predicted

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Child forced to wait 425 days for mental health treatment in Tayside

Child forced to wait 425 days for mental health treatment in Tayside

Children have been forced to wait more than year for treatment after being referred to mental health services in Tayside.

One mental health campaigner described the figure as “frightening”.

Figures released by NHS Tayside in response to a Freedom of Information request revealed the longest wait for treatment to begin at the health board’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health service was 425 days – around 14 months.

A small number of children were also required to wait more than a year for their treatment to begin.

However, the health board said no child – defined as someone under the age of 16 or 18 if in full-time education –  on the current waiting list for treatment has been on it for longer than 305 days.

Mental health campaigner Gillian Murray said there is “no excuse” for such lengthy delays between referral and treatment starting.

She said: “That’s frightening that a child has had to wait over a year for treatment, there’s no excuse for any wait that long.

“Isn’t there meant to be a set time limit when you’re legally meant to be seen?

“It definitely shows how poorly patients are being treated by NHS Tayside but I think those figures would likely be the same throughout Scotland, to be honest.”

Ms Murray’s uncle David Ramsay killed himself after being turned away from the Carsewive Centre at Ninewells Hospital and has campaigned for an independent review into mental health services in Tayside.

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said patients are prioritised according to need.

She said: “There has been a lot of work undertaken by staff in our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to improve access to services for young people in Tayside over the past 12 months.

“We have been working closely with Healthcare Improvement Scotland Mental Health Access Improvement Support (HIS) Team to deliver an improvement plan which will reduce waiting times. This includes a full CAMHS service workforce review and recruitment drive to key posts, to ensure that the team are fully equipped to manage the service demand and enhance the experience for children and their families.

“We are determined to continue making improvements to ensure all our children and young people receive the best quality care without delays and we hope to reach the national standard in the near future.

“When a child or young person is referred into CAMHS their referral will be scrutinised by our Clinical Specialist Referral Management Team and prioritised by clinical need into urgent, soon or routine. It is important that a child or young person who requires an intervention is seen by the right person at the right time.”

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Probe into Carseview abuse allegations could affect mental health services review

Probe into Carseview abuse allegations could affect mental health services review

A probe into serious abuse allegations at Carseview could impact a controversial shake-up of mental health services.

The first phase of a planned review, which will see general adult psychiatry acute admissions centralised in Dundee, is due to begin in June.

However, health chiefs say they are prepared to make changes if necessary,when the findings of an independent investigation into claims patients were pinned to the floor and mocked by staff at the Carseview mental health unit in Ninewells.

The Perth and Kinross Integration Joint Board heard preparatory work on the mental health review is already under way, with the first phase due to begin in June.

The plan was agreed in January 2018, following months of consultation and protest. Learning disability inpatient services will be provided at Murray Royal Hospital Perth, after services were transferred out of the outdated Mulberry unit at Stracathro in Angus.

The board was given an update by the four-person panel leading the review.

Conservative councillor Colin Stewart asked: “We’ve heard that we need to work quickly to address risks, but we are also told there are delays to the redesign programme.

“I understand there is going to be an interim report on the independent inquiry published later this month.

“Have you had any indication that there may be points raised for action in this report, that might have implications for the redesign programme?”

Arlene Wood, associate director for mental health, confirmed she had not had any feedback or update on the review. “The clear steer that we have had from the chief executive is that we continue, for now, on the quality improvement and redesign programme because we know there are inherent risks in the system and this work needs to happen,” she said.

“It would be remiss of us to wait for the report. If there are things raised that require us to change our course of action, then we would address that at the time.”

The board heard the heads of health partnerships in Dundee, Perth and Angus were working on a Tayside Mental Health Alliance, to tackle a range of challenges facing the sector.

Professor Keith Matthews, associate medical director for mental health services said: “It would be a mistake to underestimate how challenging the environment is for mental health services.

“We have issues with recruitment and there are emerging difficulties with retention of staff.”

He said the Scottish Government was attempting to address a national shortage of psychiatrists with an international recruitment campaign.

“Although many efforts are being taken to resolve these matters, the likelihood of anything being resolved soon are pretty low.”

He added there was a need to move away from a workforce reliant on high-cost agency work.

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