Mum’s agony at death of son Jamie, 21, minutes after he walked home with his twin brother

Jamie Buchan was enjoying family time with his mum and twin brother in his hometown — but less than 20 minutes later, he had taken his own life.

Now, his bereft mum Elayne said she finds it hard to accept what happened and refuses to believe that her son — who had a range of complex mental health issues — meant to kill himself.

Speaking at the family house in Forfar, Elayne said that it was during “five minutes of darkness” that everything went tragically wrong.

She said: “I really don’t think Jamie meant to die that night. He was excited about things he had planned for the coming weeks.”

However, Elayne also feels strongly that her son was badly let down by mental health services with “too little help coming too late”.

Jamie had battled with health conditions including cerebral palsy, deafness, ADHD and severe OCD since he and his brother Andrew were born 12 weeks prematurely.

Elayne said she also knew her son was autistic although he was only diagnosed by doctors two weeks before he died.

She said: “They refused to confirm that because they said they didn’t want to give him another ‘label’.”

Elayne said Jamie, who was also a brother to Kevin and Kyle, went to school in Kirriemuir and later worked at McDonald’s in Forfar for five years, a job she said he loved.

He also attended Dundee and Angus College. She said it was the death of his dad David, two years ago after a 10-year battle with cancer, which led to Jamie’s condition deteriorating.

She said: “Things got very much worse after David died.

“Jamie reacted very badly — he refused to open his eyes, he wouldn’t look at anybody and he became quite delusional.

“Very upsettingly, he also began to say he was going to kill himself. I don’t think he really meant it. I think he wanted to test our reaction to his threats.”

On the night Jamie died, Elayne had gone to Bar 10 in Forfar because Sex Pistol star Glen Matlock was to be there. She was joined by Jamie and Andrew.

Elayne said: “Jamie loved to meet as many celebrities as possible. The boys stayed for a little while then walked home.

“Jamie put on a DVD and went to make some noodles for his supper and it was then it happened. Andrew discovered him in the garden and phoned me quite hysterical.”

Elayne said she dashed home but it was too late. She said: “It was less than 20 minutes since they had left me. I don’t believe he meant it to happen. You don’t make your supper and then decide to take your own life.

“I’m so lost without Jamie and Andrew is beside himself.”

Jamie’s funeral will be held at the Lowson Memorial Church, Forfar, today, followed by the burial at Kirriemuir’s cemetery.

Mum Elayne pictured with Jamie

People in attendance have been asked to wear purple — Jamie’s favourite colour — or odd socks, which Jamie always wore.

A spokeswoman for Angus Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot discuss matters relating to individual patients.

“However, with any sudden or unexpected death we would review the care and treatment received by the patient with the involvement of their family and we would encourage the family to share any concerns they may have with us.”


Dundee pensioner fears he will die before discovering why son took his own life

From the Evening Telegraph – Original article HERE

David Ramsay sr wants to be involved in discussions about the death of son David

A Dundee pensioner fears he will die before he knows why his son took his own life.

David Ramsay was found dead at the city’s Templeton Woods on October 9 last year.

Before he died, the 50-year-old had been in the throes of a mental break down which led to psychosis.

After harming himself and attempting to take his own life by overdosing, David’s family convinced him to seek help from his doctor.

David’s GP then contacted NHS Tayside’s Carseview Centre by emergency referral with a view to him being seen by mental health staff.

But David’s dad, David Ramsay Sr, claims the medics decided against admitting his son — and his body was discovered four days later.

A year on, speaking publicly for the first time since his son’s death, Mr Ramsay said he was “in limbo” over the circumstances.

David Ramsay Sr

He also believes his son might still be alive if he had been admitted to one of the wards at Carseview.

The 79-year-old, of St Mary’s, says that NHS Tayside officials have refused to include him in discussions about David’s death due to him not being listed as his son’s next of kin — despite claiming his son’s family are happy for him to be involved.

Mr Ramsay says he fears he’ll go to the grave without getting answers over what happened to his son and why he wasn’t given the treatment he felt he needed.

He said: “All I want to know is what happened — but they told me because I wasn’t listed as his next of kin I wasn’t entitled to any information.

“It’s my son that we are talking about.”

David Ramsay, who died aged 50

In the aftermath of David’s death, the family met NHS Tayside chiefs and a local adverse event review took place.

Mr Ramsay, who is now being represented by solicitor Danny Devine, of Myles Muir and Laverty, said he was kept in the dark about its progress and findings — and is now pushing for a fatal accident inquiry to be held.

Mr Devine told the Tele: “I contacted NHS Tayside as I believed my client should be involved in the process surrounding the death of his son. I did not agree with the response from the health board.

“My client is struggling to cope with the death of his son and his treatment from NHS Tayside is aggrieving his ongoing sorrow.”

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said it would be inappropriate to comment.



NHS boss admits death of Dundee dad Dale could have been down to ‘system failings

From the Evening Telegraph, original story HERE

A leading clinical psychologist has admitted “systems failings” in Dundee’s Carseview Centre could have led to the death of a city man.

Linda Graham, who is deputy head of psychological services for NHS Tayside, was giving evidence at a fatal accident inquiry into the death of Dale Thomson.

Dale, 28, of Charleston, was admitted to Carseview mental health centre on January 8 2015 but discharged himself two days later. He was re-admitted on January 22 and, after an appointment at Carseview the following day, was again allowed to leave.

Dale was found dead by his mum Mandy McLaren, 49, and his twin brother Billy at home on January 2, having hanged himself.

Dale Thomson

Ms Graham was co-chairwoman of a significant clinical event analysis (SKEA) report into Dale’s death.

Among the findings of the report was that during Dale’s stay in Carseview between January 8 and 10 he was not seen by a consultant psychiatrist, and the consultant on call was not made aware that he had been admitted to the hospital.

The report told how “it was assumed that the ward junior doctors would communicate this to the consultant grade. This did not happen with Mr Thomson and although the supervising consultant visited the ward to review another patient in similar circumstances, Mr Thomson was ‘missed’ on this ward round”.

Ms Graham told the inquiry that it was likely a compulsory detainment under the Mental Health Act may have been sought by a consultant, instead of Dale being allowed to discharge himself on January 10.

When asked what the repercussions were for Dale, she said: “There was a systems failure in that there was a lack of assessment of the patient by a consultant at any point. If a consultant had made that assessment, the likelihood is that you are going to reach an outcome which is different for that patient.”

The court also heard from Dr Allan Scott, a consultant psychiatrist who had been asked by the Crown to produce two independent reports detailing his findings into the dad-of-one’s death. He was of the opinion that Dale should have been seen by a consultant within 24 hours of admission, based on guidance from the Royal College of Psychologists.

Dr Stuart Doig, NHS Tayside’s clinical director for mental health, told the court it was his understanding that about half the health boards in Scotland use the “24 hour rule” as standard practice.

He said a lack of resources, along with some boards having multiple hospitals, meant it wasn’t practical for it to be adopted by every board.

He said NHS Tayside used a system of “safety huddles” for patients admitted at weekends — daily telephone conferences where medical staff discuss new inpatients with the on-call senior consultant. This system was incorporated after Dale’s death, he added.

The inquiry was adjourned until December.


Dundee’s ‘hidden’ helpers who reach out to those who are carers to mental health sufferers

From the Evening Telegraph

A Dundee group which supports carers of people with mental health issues is aiming to reach out to more locals than ever before.

Dundee Mental Health Cairn Fowk offers assistance to those who look after people with mental health issues.

Cathy Hamilton MBE, who chairs the group, says she wants to encourage more people to seek help.

It comes in the wake of several high-profile cases in the city of people struggling with their mental health. Many of them have featured in the Tele — and some have had tragic outcomes.

Ms Hamilton said that carers can “often feel alone and isolated” and wants to build on the 60 members the group already has.

“We believe that is the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “I think there are many more carers of the mentally ill in Dundee who remain hidden.

Group members Andy MacKenzie and Mary Stevenson.

“We would like to reach out to them and get them involved.

“While we have regular drop-in sessions for carers, many of those are during the day.

“Now we hope that by adding evening sessions we will attract carers who find it impossible for a variety of reasons to manage daytime meetings.”

Cathy, who is herself a carer, said the group was growing every year.

She said: “Many carers of people with mental health issues can often end up feeling at the end of their tether.

“They can even feel they are no longer able to look after their loved one and can end up ill themselves.”

Mary Stevenson, from Mid Craigie, who receives support from the group, said that joining Cairn Fowk had “saved her life”.

She said: “I was becoming very depressed looking after a loved one who has mental health problems.

“It was making me ill as well and I felt I had nowhere to turn.

“By coming to the group I have received a lot of support.

“When you care for someone with mental illness you can often feel that you are the only who is going through these issues.

“You sometimes can’t accept what’s happening to you and you don’t know how to continue.

“By joining our group people will get the support they need.”

Cathy said that anyone who was interested in the group could email or phone 07704 514103.

There is also a link to DMH Cairn Fowk on our site resources page

Sheriff calls for increased mental health provision in prisons after Dundee man dies in custody

Just after the prospect of mental health provisions being reduced is in the news, see previous post, we have a Sheriff’s verdict on services in Tayside. In particular, mental health training for prison nurses. Read the full Evening Telegraph article HERE

A sheriff has urged NHS and prison bosses to redouble their efforts to recruit mental health nurses.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael made the comment in a report on the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Dundee man Mark Smith.

The 23-year-old hanged himself while in custody in Perth Prison in October 2015. Despite the efforts of medical staff at Perth Royal Infirmary, Mr Smith, from Kirkton, couldn’t be saved.

Mr Smith had spent several years struggling with depression after his sister Kim died aged just 15 from an asthma attack in 2005.

Prison officers who gave evidence at the inquiry at Perth Sheriff Court heard Mr Smith was “unhappy” following an appearance at Dundee Sheriff Court to plead not guilty to seven charges, including one of domestic assault.

After bail was refused, Mr Smith was remanded in custody and was found dead in his cell several hours later.

Prior to this, the court also heard Mr Smith was upset following a phone call with his partner.

In his determination following the inquiry, Sheriff Carmichael did not believe there were any precautions that could have prevented Mr Smith’s death.

The sheriff added there were no defects in any system that could have contributed to the death.

NHS Tayside and the Scottish Prison Service were, however, urged to increase mental health training for prison nurses.

Sheriff Carmichael said: “I heard evidence that over half of prisoners have some sort of mental health history and I heard evidence that prisoners continue to take their own lives while in the care of the SPS. It is self-evident that if such a high percentage of prisoners have a mental health history, then SPS must be properly equipped to deal with this.”

He added: “I do not think that the lack of a nurse who was qualified in mental health nursing contributed to Mark Smith’s death.

“However, I strongly encourage SPS/NHS to redouble their efforts to recruit nurses who are qualified in the treatment of mental health, and to provide specific training in mental health to nurses who are in the SPS and who are not so qualified.”

Both NHS Tayside and the Scottish Prison Service were approached for comment, but the Tele has yet to receive a response.