Carseview Centre mental health unit restraint ‘shocking’

Carseview Centre mental health unit restraint ‘shocking’

Marks on David Fong's face
David Fong says this photo, taken in 2013, was a result of being restrained in Carseview

An NHS mental health unit in Dundee restrained patients by pinning them down for too long and in a dangerous position, according to a leaked report.

The internal inquiry into the Carseview Centre was commissioned in response to a BBC Scotland documentary last year.

It exposed bullying and potentially life-threatening restraint on patients.

Prof Peter Tyrer, who chaired the group that wrote the NICE guidelines on restraint in mental health, said the report was “shocking”.

“I’ve seen reports like this before but not quite as damning as this,” he said.

The report has not been made public but has been seen by the BBC.

It found that untrained staff were carrying out risky restraints on patients and that the number of restraints was high.

It said face-down, and particularly face down in a prone position, are the highest tariff interventions of physical restraint, and the most dangerous techniques to deploy.

Carseview Centre
Carseview Centre was the focus of a BBC documentary last year

The report looked at a sample of 40 cases and found more than half were patients being restrained face down on the floor for longer than 30 minutes.

The longest restraint was one hour and 45 minutes.

“That is completely against all guidelines,” Prof Tyrer said.

“You may have to do things for five minutes or up to 10 minutes but to go beyond 40 minutes there is something badly wrong in the organisation of a unit if that is allowed to continue.”

Professor Peter Tyrer
Prof Peter Tyrer chaired the group which wrote the guidelines on how to handle mental health patients

Carseview is a hospital to care for patients with mental illness from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and psychosis.

In July last year, BBC Scotland broadcast allegations by patients of bullying by staff, illegal drug-taking and being pinned to the floor unnecessarily.

Experts called it abusive and said the unit should be closed down.

NHS Tayside responded by commissioning an internal report into Carseview to go alongside independent reports into mental health in Tayside.

The internal report says a whistleblower has come forward and accused Carseview of “very serious concerns over leadership, safety and malpractice”.

The internal report has not been seen by the public

It came up with 11 recommended actions including urgent action on staff training and critical action on illegal drugs on the ward.

It said the restraint policy should emphasise the safety of patients as well as staff and that the culture of the unit should be “based around the caring and compassionate leadership approach”.

NHS Tayside said the recommendations covering patient care and culture were “now being progressed”.

Prof Peter Stonebridge, acting medical director for NHS Tayside, said a “steering group has been established” to focus on restrictive care practices, including the reduction of face-down restraint.

Joy Duxbury said there seemed to be a toxic environment at the unit
Joy Duxbury said there seemed to be a toxic environment at the unit

Joy Duxbury, professor of mental health at Manchester Metropolitan University, told BBC Scotland: “I think this is a terribly toxic environment.

“The figures on physical restraint are exceptionally worrying.

“These are very vulnerable clients who are being restrained, in my view, unnecessarily and by far too many staff in too many situations.

“For me, given what we know about psychological and physical trauma of the use of restraint in such setting, this is of significant concern.”

Marnie Stirling said the unit was supposed to be about recovery not punishment
Marnie Stirling said the unit was supposed to be about recovery not punishment

Marnie Stirling, who had two stays in Carseview with anxiety and depression, spoke to the BBC documentary last year.

Reacting to the report, she said: “If you think about mental health, it’s supposed to be about recovery. This isn’t recovery, it’s further punishment for people.”

David Fong spent a month in the unit after experiencing psychosis in 2013.

‘Total disgrace’

He claimed staff used restraint violently and repeatedly during his time there.

His mother Lorraine said: “This is a total and utter disgrace that this has gone on for seven years and maybe longer.”

David told BBC Scotland that staff were quick to see frustration and anger arising from detainment as aggression.

“Staff are too keen to initiate restraint and offer little or no de-escalation when no actual aggression has been displayed by the patient,” he said.

Former patient David Fong said he had had his face rubbed along the floor during restraint
Former patient David Fong said he had his face rubbed along the floor during restraint

“I ask how many of these restraints were actually needed and if some are instigated by staff rather than patients?

“I personally was physically assaulted with the application of intense pain through twisting of arms, wrists and fingers or a member of staff’s knee being dug into my back, had my face rubbed into the floor causing loss of skin from my face, and had verbal abuse screamed at me during restraint.

“I also could not have been the only patient that these tactics were being used upon.”

A separate report looking at the patient experiences came up with separate 23 recommendations in December.

It is feeding into an independent inquiry, which was announced in the Scottish Parliament last year, and is still ongoing.

Calls for return of Mulberry unit after ‘concrete evidence’ of its importance to Angus mental health patients

Calls for return of Mulberry unit after ‘concrete evidence’ of its importance to Angus mental health patients

GPs now prescribing ‘fresh air’ to treat patients in some Dundee surgeries

GPs now prescribing ‘fresh air’ to treat patients in some Dundee surgeries

GPs in Dundee are now able to prescribe spending time in nature to improve patients’ health and wellbeing as part of a pilot scheme.

A trial programme of “green health prescriptions” will be available from Lochee Health Centre, Whitfield Health Centre and Taybank Medical Centre.

The three Dundee GP practices will discuss with patients if it is appropriate to offer a nature-based intervention as part of their treatment or as a preventative measure.

The activities have been designed by NHS Tayside and will be printed on prescription paper.

NHS Tayside chief executive Grant Archibald  said: “There is no doubt there is a strong connection between green space and good mental and physical health. Parks, woodlands and open spaces make a real difference to how happy we feel.

“They also improve our immune system and encourage physical activity and social interaction.”

The Dundee Green Health Partnership (DGHP) will signpost green initiatives and raise awareness about the positive impact that nature can have on people’s health.

The project is a collaboration between NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council, the voluntary sector, Dundee University, Abertay University and local community initiatives.

Neighbourhood services convener, councillor Kevin Cordell, said: “I’m delighted to see a host of key partners coming together with a goal to use our wonderful outdoor spaces to improve physical and mental health.”

Plans to turn former factory into new base for Dundee mental health charity

Plans to turn former factory into new base for Dundee mental health charity

Concerns over potential impact of Dundee library cuts

Concerns over potential impact of Dundee library cuts

Cutting Dundee’s library budget could have long-term consequences on literacy, social isolation and mental health.

The warning comes after Leisure and Culture Dundee (LACD), the arms-length organisation that runs the service, announced plans to decimate libraries’ budgets this week.

The organisation has to find £860,000 to balance its budget this year and aims to do this through a combination of cuts and price increases.

The cuts include reducing the resource budget of libraries – the money available for new books and periodicals – and cutting staff numbers through voluntary redundancy and early retirement.


The organisation, which also runs the McManus, Camperdown and Caird Park golf courses and the Olympia Swimming Pool, said it may not replace all departing staff in order to keep costs down.

Sean McNamara, head of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland, said cuts to library services can have serious long-term consequences.

He said: “We realise that council services are under severe financial pressure and difficult decisions need to be made.

“However, cuts to resources and staffing can impact on vital services that libraries provide for communities.

“Libraries and their skilled staff help improve literacy levels as well as tackling social isolation and supporting mental health and they also play a key role in the current digital strategy for Scotland by providing free access for people unable to get online at home.

“Any local authority considering cutting budgets must ensure they have fully assessed the long-term impact any cuts may have.

”Labour group leader Kevin Keenan said “slashing the culture budget” was the wrong thing to do when Dundee is trying to promote itself as one of Scotland’s leading cultural destinations.

He said: “Obviously, I am deeply disappointed to hear there is a potential load of job losses.

“When we are trying to attract people and tourists here with things like the V&A, slashing the culture budget does not seem like the thing to do.”

A report to Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee this year revealed that Dundee has the highest percentage of citizens who are library users out of all of the Scottish authorities.

Nine of the 13 libraries showed an increase in visits in 2016-2017.

The Central Library is Scotland’s busiest.

Last year there were concerns cuts could lead to restricted opening times in some city libraries.

A spokesman for Leisure and Culture Dundee said there were currently no plans to reduce opening times.

He said: “There are no changes to opening hours at this time.”

Avicii’s legacy is ‘transforming mental health in the music industry’

Avicii’s legacy is ‘transforming mental health in the music industry’

Lee Welsh covering Avicii

The family of Avicii have set up a foundation in his name to support causes including mental illness and suicide prevention.

The Swedish DJ took his own life in 2018 while on tour in Asia.

The Tim Bergling Foundation “is our way to honour his memory and continue to act in his spirit,” say his family.

Tim Bergling is Avicii’s real name.

And people currently working on mental health in the music industry say that his legacy has already helped improve awareness in the field.

“One of the main issues Avicii’s death highlighted was the reluctance of men to talk about the subject of mental health,” Tristan Hunt from the Association For Electronic Music tells BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

He’s the co-chair of a group that’s working to improve mental and physical health among fans and professionals in the dance music industry.

‘Suicide cuts right across our society’

“His suicide brought into sharp relief just how many men suffer from this, especially within our industry.

“It’s not just electronic music. It cuts right across the industry, it cuts right across our society – but men do find it particularly hard to talk about.”

Three out of four people who end their own lives in the UK are male, according to a report in September 2018.

More recently, Keith Flint from The Prodigy died from hanging, which his Prodigy bandmate Liam Howlett confirmed as suicide on Instagram.

Liam Howlett Instagram post THE PRODIGY / INSTAGRAM
“Avicii’s passing and Keith’s death over the past year highlight that we clearly have a very long way to go still,” says Tristan.”At every level we need to keep talking acting and caring in order to save lives and create lives worth living.”

Foundation can bring light to ‘dark’ incident

One person who knows about how working in the music industry can affect your mental health is Manchester DJ and producer Ben Pearce, who says the anxiety and depression he has faced was brought on by working in music.

“I’m glad a foundation is being set up in Tim’s name,” Ben tells Newsbeat.

“It was a really awful tragedy but out of such a dark time, there can be a light. If the foundation helps anybody, I’m sure that will go to redress the balance.”

Ben Pearce
Ben told Newsbeat in 2017 that at his lowest, he was “shaking, throwing up, sweating and generally feeling awful”

Ben says it’s “amazing” that anyone is committing time and resources to tackling mental health issues in the music industry.

“Just working in such a volatile industry like music, there are a lot of factors that can influence how your day to day life is,” he says.

“Schedules can change quite drastically and deadlines can change for a lot of people and that puts a lot of additional stress on.”

‘Avicii’s death has changed the music industry’

Since Avicii’s death, Tristan says the music industry has started to address the need for mental health provisions in the same way as it has been in schools and other businesses.

“Avicii’s death sadly brought that into sharp relief but I think one of his greatest legacies will be that he’s helped transform our industry in terms of giving mental health the importance it’s always needed,” he says.

“Now the focus has now been very much upon that to get it resolved.”

The Tim Bergling Foundation will also work on nature conservation and endangered species – among other issues.

Visit the Radio 1 Advice pages for more information on mental health and suicide.

Follow Newsbeat on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here.

Body found in search for Aberdeen teenager Liam Smith

Body found in search for Aberdeen teenager Liam Smith

Liam SmithLiam Smith is thought to have got off a Stagecoach bus in Crathes

A body has been found in the search for 16-year-old Liam Smith, who has been missing since the middle of November.

The teenager, from Aberdeen, was last seen on 17 November on the 202 Stagecoach bus from Aberdeen. He is thought to have got off at Crathes.

Police confirmed that the body of a man had been found in remote woodland south of Banchory, Aberdeenshire.

A member of the public made the discovery in Craig of Affrusk at about 15:00.

Formal identification is still to take place, but Mr Smith’s family have been informed.

Police said inquiries were ongoing, but there were not believed to be any suspicious circumstances around the death.

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis’ death not treated as suspicious

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis’ death not treated as suspicious

The 26-year-old, who was also a semi-professional footballer, was found dead in north London.
Mike Thalassitis found fame on the 2017 series of Love Island.

The death of the former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis is not being treated as suspicious.

Police and the London ambulance service were called to a park close to Latymer Way, in Edmonton, north London, on Saturday. The police said a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 26-year-old reality television star and semi-professional footballer had found fame on the 2017 series of the ITV competitive dating show Love Island. He earned the nickname “Muggy Mike” after partnering with Olivia Attwood, the girlfriend of fellow islander Chris Hughes.

A statement from the Metropolitan police said: “Police were called to a park near Latymer Way, N9, at 9.28am on Saturday, 16 March. Officers and the London ambulance service attended and found a man, aged in his 20s, deceased.

“At this early stage, the death is not being treated as suspicious. Police are in the process of informing the man’s next of kin. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Thalassitis, who was of Cypriot descent, was born in Edmonton and played for clubs including Stevenage, St Albans, Chelmsford and Margate.

Tributes were left on Sunday outside the cafe that he planned to open. Bunches of flowers and a card were placed at the door to the business, the Skillett, in Loughton, Essex. The interior of the unit, on a small row of shops, appeared to be midway through a refurbishment.

His Love Island co-star Montana Brown had earlier written on Instagram: “I will help open your cafe with Scott because you worked so hard on it so don’t you worry!”

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

Families of Tayside suicide victims, including Carseview patients, wait for inquiry findings

Families of Tayside suicide victims, including Carseview patients, wait for inquiry findings

The independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside has retired to consider the key issues hampering the system’s ability to care for patients.

Launched following pressure from the families of suicide victims in Dundee, the inquiry’s evidence stage has concluded after receiving hundreds of submissions from the public.

Alongside other evidence, these will now be examined by the inquiry, chaired by former chief inspector of prisons David Strang.

Mr Strang said: “I am pleased with the response we have received to our public call for evidence. More than 200 people have submitted written documents and personal statements and there have been more than 60 oral evidence sessions held.

“Evidence has been submitted from a wide range of people including patients, families, carers, NHS employees and third-sector organisations.”

David Strang is chairing the inquiry

Agencies such as Police Scotland, student welfare teams and Dundee Drugs Misuse Commission have also contributed.

The evidence stage has taken several months, with discussions held with parties with an interest in improving mental health services.

The inquiry has visited psychiatric units including the Carseview Centre, the Rohallion Clinic and Stracathro in order to understand the systems currently in place.

The information it has gathered to date will be used to identify key issues in mental health services.

A statement from inquiry chiefs said: “The next stage of the inquiry’s work is to analyse all the data evidence, relevant government reports, statistical data, internal NHS review documents and data, in order to identify common themes which will then be the subject of further investigation and analysis.”

The inquiry was commissioned by NHS Tayside last year after campaign group Lost Souls of Dundee claimed it had identified at least 10 suicides which could have been prevented in the area.

Keith Flint: Prodigy vocalist dies aged 49

Keith Flint: Prodigy vocalist dies aged 49

Keith Flint, vocalist with the Prodigy, has died at the age of 49. He was found at his home in Essex on Monday.

The Prodigy released a statement confirming the news, saying: “It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.”

Liam Howlett, who formed the group in 1990, wrote on Instagram: “I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I’m shell shocked, fuckin angry, confused and heart broken ….. r.i.p brother Liam”.

An Essex police spokesman confirmed that a 49-year-old man had died. “We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, just after 8.10am on Monday,” he said.

“We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

With his punk aesthetic of piercings, spiked hair and intense stare, Flint became one of the UK’s most iconic musical figures in the 1990s. He joined the Prodigy as a dancer, later becoming a frontman alongside rapper Maxim. Aside from their 1992 debut, all of the group’s seven albums have reached No 1 in the UK, the most recent being No Tourists, released in November 2018.

Flint performed the vocals on the Prodigy’s best known singles, Firestarter and Breathe, which both went to No 1 in 1996. Firestarter became their biggest US hit and the group are often credited with helping to break dance music into the mainstream in the country.

Speaking to the Guardian in 2015, Flint lamented the state of modern pop music. “We were dangerous and exciting! But now no one’s there who wants to be dangerous. And that’s why people are getting force-fed commercial, generic records that are just safe, safe, safe.”

As well as his success with the Prodigy, Flint founded the successful motorcycle racing outfit Team Traction Control, which made its debut in 2014 and went on to win multiple Supersport TT titles.

The Prodigy played some of the biggest stages in the UK, including the 1996 Knebworth concerts headlined by Oasis and, in 1997 became the first dance group to headline Glastonbury. Festival organiser Emily Eavis paid tribute, calling their set “a huge, unforgettable moment”.

Eavis added: “He’s played here so many times with the Prodigy and was booked for 2019. What an incredible frontman.”

Gail Porter, who dated Flint between 1999 and 2000, simply wrote the word “heartbroken” on Twitter.

Further tributes have been made from his musical peers. Ed Simons of the dance duo the Chemical Brothers shared a memory of Flint on Instagram.

A post from the Chemical Brothers’ official Twitter account said Flint “was an amazing front man, a true original and he will be missed”.

Richard Russell, the head of the XL Recordings label that first signed the group, said on Twitter: “Devastated keith flint is gone. not just a great performer. he had total integrity & an incredible sense of humour. one of the sweetest people I’ve ever worked with. what a beautiful energy. what a gentleman. privileged to have known him. miss u keith.”

Sleaford Mods, whose frontman Jason Williamson collaborated with the Prodigy on the 2015 track Ibiza, tweeted: “Very sorry to hear of the passing of Keith Flint. Good night mate. Take it easy.” Another collaborator, the band Kasabian, described him as a “beautiful man” and “incredible pioneer”.

The rapper Professor Green said the Prodigy at the Brixton Academy in 2009 was “the best gig I’d ever seen, and still is till this day” and had inspired him to be a music star. He added: “Your music, your presence, your attitude. It all had such an influence on me. Saddened doesn’t even cut it.”

 In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at