Nearly half of Dundee suicide victims sought crisis help in the year before death

Nearly half of Dundee suicide victims sought crisis help in the year before death

VIDEO: ‘You never get over it’ – Dundee parents discuss their children’s suicides

VIDEO: ‘You never get over it’ – Dundee parents discuss their children’s suicides

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 
‘The services must change’ – Council leader John Alexander responds to Tayside mental health report

‘The services must change’ – Council leader John Alexander responds to Tayside mental health report

The leader of Dundee City Council has responded to an independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside.

John Alexander has today posted a statement on Facebook, stating that the capacity of the services “needs to increase” and that there are “too many people spread too thinly”.

An inquiry to examine the accessibility, safety, quality and standards of care provided by all mental health services in the region was commissioned after concerns were raised in the Scottish Parliament.

The final report, Trust and Respect, was published last week and was chaired by David Strang CBE.

Mr Alexander wrote: “Last week in a 136-page document, Dr David Strang set out the results and recommendations stemming from the independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside.

“I spent the weekend pouring over the entirety of the document, considering it’s contents and thinking about what kind of service could be provided if those 51 recommendations are adopted.

“It’s vital that each word on those page is taken in. It was hard hitting, honest and to be frank, painted a deeply worrying picture of where things were.

“Mental health and it’s impact on too many people is an issue very close to my heart, even closer more recently but it’s also something that isn’t talked about enough – between family members and friends. I spent my Sunday morning with friends and one of the things we were talking about was the battles with mental health.

“I defy anyone to find someone that doesn’t have a family member, friend or someone that they work with who hasn’t suffered from issues related to mental health.

“We need to continue to remove any stigma associated with it and support those who need support. There is of course, a wide spectrum and the impacts can often be unseen, sometimes until it’s too late.

“There continues to be a significant number of people in crisis, at the end of their tether and struggling to manage daily life. What this report says very strongly and clearly is that people have been let down by services in Tayside. What it also says is that going forward, the services must change.

“The bottom line for me is that the capacity of those services needs to increase. There are too many people spread too thinly and too many silos that don’t allow for sustained collaboration.

“The Chief Executive of NHS Tayside has, to his credit, apologised for those failings and has said that his “…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.”

Grant Archibald.

“I’ve already discussed the matter with officers and look forward to meeting with NHS colleagues to see what actions have already been taken forward and hear how they intent to address the 51 recommendations.

“This report has been long anticipated and whilst I think there was a general expectation that there were issues, the fact that it has done such a thorough analysis and 1,500 interviews during that process should provide the evidence base required to make some big and necessary changes.”

 

Link to Evening  Telegraph article here 

NHS boss apologises for mental health service failings in Tayside

NHS boss apologises for mental health service failings in Tayside

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  

Tragedy as woman pulled from River Tay dies in Ninewells Hospital

Tragedy as woman pulled from River Tay dies in Ninewells Hospital

A young woman pulled from the River Tay on Monday has died in hospital.

The woman, who has not been named, is understood to have been in the Tay at the south side of the road bridge for around 15 minutes before she was rescued.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Around 11.35am on Monday, 10 February officers responded to a report of concern for a woman in the River Tay near Dundee.

“A 32-year-old woman was recovered from the water and taken to Ninewells Hospital where she later died.

“There are no apparent suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

A statement from Broughty Ferry lifeboat crew said: “Broughty Ferry RNLI crews responded with both lifeboats to a report of person in river near to Tay Road Bridge.

“The call came in via coastguard at 11.37am. By 12pm the first lifeboat had arrived on scene to find the casualty had been removed from the water on to a local work boat.

“The casualty was then transferred to the all-weather lifeboat where crews provided emergency care during rapid transfer to lifeboat station, where the casualty was passed into the care of waiting ambulance crews.”

The spokesman said the conditions for the crew were difficult during the rescue.

He added: “This was a difficult rescue and the crew are all understandably subdued.”

The statement continued: “If you are worried about something or know somebody who needs help but don’t know how to approach things then call Breathing Space on 0800 838587.”

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

City council called upon to play their part in mental health care in Dundee

City council called upon to play their part in mental health care in Dundee

A senior politician has said no stone should be left unturned if the city is to address the deepening mental health crisis.

Labour leader on Dundee City Council Kevin Keenan said that the independent inquiry into mental health services in  NHS Tayside published this week, which set out 50 recommendations, raised very concerning issues.

Mr Keenan said: “Everything I have read so far shows that there needs to be some level of spending from Dundee City Council to help achieve the recommendations  laid out by the report.

“I have written to the council’s chief executive David Martin to ask what that level of financial commitment will be.

Mr Keenan added: “I have also asked him to address the issues and have further asked whether there is any opportunity to receive government funding given that the NHS in Tayside has effectively let down individuals and those in need of care.”

Mr Keenan said that the council had a crucial role to play as one of the partners involved in  caring for people with mental health issues in Dundee.

He said: “Through  our council housing services and our social work department we regularly come into contact with people with mental health issues.

David Martin, chief executive of Dundee City Council

“I want to know how we can provide better support, particularity following on the concerns raised by the  independent  inquiry report.

“There is little doubt that there is a link in Dundee between mental health and drug taking issues and the previous Fair Commission held in the city highlighted this and committed to providing appropriate care.

Mr Keenan added: “It also concerns  me that many children in Dundee  suffer as a result of mental health and drug issues.

“We should be looking at how we can best support these children. We have one of the highest number of Looked After Children and many sibling groups would have been split – something which I understand this report has been very critical of.

“I would hope that we could have some level of case review undertaken fairly quickly – if we are getting it wrong for any child then we must address this promptly. ”

A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “The chief executive will respond to Bailie Keenan in due course.”

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here  

Sturgeon urged to save failing mental health services at NHS Tayside

Sturgeon urged to save failing mental health services at NHS Tayside

NICOLA STURGEON was pressed to intervene and save failing mental health services at a Scottish health board today after the publication of a damning report earlier this week.

At First Minister’s Questions, the SNP leader was pushed to commit to a swathe of measures at NHS Tayside.

The independent inquiry into mental health services in the region found a culture of “fear and blame,” with more than 50 suggestions made about how to make improvements.

Scotland’s Labour leader Richard Leonard asked Ms Sturgeon whether her government would step in at the health board and put in place “special measures” to ensure implementation of the recommendations.

He said: “NHS Tayside has a history of evading scrutiny, deflecting criticism and resisting change.

“They have repeatedly ignored recommendations from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission.

“Will you today instruct your Cabinet Secretary to re-escalate NHS Tayside’s mental health services so that your government steps in to drive the transformation of mental health services in Tayside?

“First Minister, will you do the right thing?”

Ms Sturgeon said she offered her apologies to all families who had been let down by the NHS.

She added: “The Scottish government will continue to take the action that is already under way and we will consider all suggestions.

“We will continue to monitor the progress of NHS Tayside through the Tayside Oversight Group, which is a vital part of the picture here.

“As I said, the Mental Health Minister will keep Parliament updated and we have proactively asked David Strang to review this after a year and to provide an update into the progress that has been made.”

‘It wasn’t just a few families making a fuss’: Man behind damning NHS Tayside mental health report warns there will be no quick-fixes

‘It wasn’t just a few families making a fuss’: Man behind damning NHS Tayside mental health report warns there will be no quick-fixes

The man behind a damning review of mental health services in Tayside has warned there will be no quick fixes.

Link to Dundee Courier article here 

‘They killed my son’: Mum hits out at NHS Tayside as report lays bare scale of mental health failings

‘They killed my son’: Mum hits out at NHS Tayside as report lays bare scale of mental health failings

Five years to the day since she buried her son, Mandy McLaren warned NHS Tayside her campaign for better mental health treatment was far from over.

The Dundee grandmother was one of the leading voices in securing an independent inquiry into the provision of mental health services in Tayside.

Her son Dale Thompson took his own life after receiving treatment at Carseview. A review into his death later found “systems failures” had been a contributing factor.

Dr David Strang’s long awaited report on the health authority’s performance was finally released yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of Dale’s funeral in February 2015.

Speaking after reading the highly critical 133-page document, Ms McLaren said she could not forgive NHS Tayside for its part in her son’s death.

“I am watching my granddaughter grow up without her dad because of them,” she said.

“I want her to know that we fought for him and he fought for help, but he wasn’t getting it.

“They killed my son. If they had done their jobs, he would still be alive.

“He was looking forward to the future. He went to them for help and they let him down. I blame them and will say that until the day I die.”

Ms McLaren said she was appalled that NHS Tayside had been allowed to run mental health services in an inadequate way for so long.

“Report after report has been done without anything being done,” she said.

“There’s a lot of blame and nobody is standing up and saying the buck stops here.

“I am not saying it’s staff at fault, but it comes down the line.

“In all professions you get some who are good at their job and some who are bad, but in this kind of job it is costing lives and it can’t continue.”

She said she wanted a sign that NHS Tayside would follow through on Dr Strang’s recommendations, after failing to take action in the past.

“They keep saying they will learn from mistakes, but they haven’t implemented what they been told before,” she said.

“Nothing has been done since the interim report was published last year. That’s not reassuring.”

Another campaigner, Phil Welsh said he was heartened by some of the recommendations in Dr Strang’s report and hopeful that other families would be spared the heartache which he had suffered.

Phil’s son Lee took his own life in 2017. He would have turned 30 next week.

Mr Welsh welcomed a suggestion that crisis provision should be available 24 hours a day – a measure which the Not In Vain For Lee campaign has called for.

Mr Welsh said: “The recommendations are really in line with what our campaign wants.

“It’s also good to read there should be more help for university students and young people.

“But it’s really important going forward that we get the support from local and national government.

“The recommendations need to be acted on.”

 

Link to Dundee Courier article here 

Dundee mental health support scheme hailed as national success story

Dundee mental health support scheme hailed as national success story

Link to Dundee Courier article here