MSP apologises for missing meeting

A Dundee MSP has publicly apologised to a grieving father after failing to attend a meeting he set up with health board chiefs.

Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick has said sorry to Phil Welsh, the Dundee man behind mental health awareness campaign Not In Vain For Lee, after he failed to show at a meeting arranged by his office alongside NHS Tayside chief executive Lesley McLay.

Mr Welsh had wanted to meet with Mr Fitzpatrick and Ms McLay to discuss the “under-provision” of mental health services in the city.

Mr Welsh’s son Lee committed suicide last month and had suffered mental health problems for more than a decade.

He said: “I turned up at Ninewells on Friday afternoon to meet Mr Fitzpatrick and Ms McLay.

“The parking spaces we were provided with were even reserved and provided for under the MSP’s name.

“We waited for some time for Mr Fitzpatrick to arrive, with Ms McLay even suggesting we postpone the meeting for a time in order for him to turn up.

“An hour after I walked out of the meeting with NHS Tayside, I received a phone call from Mr Fitzpatrick’s assistant, telling me there was a mistake made with his diary, which is why he didn’t show.

“It felt, at the time, an appalling way to be treated.

“A public apology will in some way make amends and I can appreciate mistakes can happen, but for him to not contact me until afterwards was upsetting.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said:  “I was very sorry to hear of the family’s loss and met with them to offer support and assistance.

“My office helped to organise a meeting for the family with the chief executive of NHS Tayside, as well as the medical director, in order that the family could put their questions to NHS Tayside. Unfortunately due to a diary mistake I didn’t realise the meeting was last Friday until after it had taken place.

“I have since spoken with Mr Welsh to apologise for what was an honest mistake.

“I’d now like to take this opportunity to apologise to the family in public. I am deeply sorry that I missed the meeting.

“I am keen to follow up on any action points arising out of the meeting and to assist the family in any way that I can.”

Mr Welsh also received an apology from the health service for the “callous” response he received in the wake of his son’s passing.

The Dundee Health and Social Car Partnership responded to Mr Welsh’s claims about his son’s lack of support by saying there was a “wide range of mental health services available” in the city.

The Not In Vain For Lee initiative was set up to raise awareness of mental health services. The website,, allows people to share their stories and provide contact details for services in the city and beyond.

“If we can help just one person who is battling with mental health issues and prevent them from coming to harm, then it will not have been in vain,” he said.

A fundraising evening was recently held in Lee’s memory at the Royal Tay Yacht Club, which Mr Welsh thanked people for attending.


Full article in the The Courier



MSP No Show at important meeting

From a Facebook post today regarding a meeting that Phil & Lesley had with The CEO & Medical Director of NHS Tayside. They were supposed to have been supported by their MSP, Joe FitzPatrick MSP.

Have a little read of the email exchange below. Addressees etc have been removed for obvious reason.

The car parking spaces were hosted in Joe FitzPatrick’s name, the chief exec of NHS Tayside suggested we hold off the meeting until Joe FitzPatrick shows up!! Guess what!! 1 hour after the meeting is over Joe FitzPatrick’s PA calls me on my mobile to offer apologies, not Joe himself, not the elected member who had agreed to facilitate a meeting with the NHS top brass for a family who’s son had recently committed suicide. The PA suggested a diary mix up!! Accept that if you can, but I certainly cannot.

I made it clear from my boys death our entire situation was never to be political I wished for the death of my boy to unite the parties and bring all to a table where we all would campaign hard for a fresh approach to why young men who were taking their own life!!! How absolutely wrong I was!!!

Joe Fitzpatrick you certainly lived up to your nickname!! NO SHOW JOE!! However I prefer this as a term for you ‘ LET DOWN BY JOE!!’

Please share this message to let individuals understand the compassion and empathy of individual politicians!!

I have yet to receive a text, email phone call from Dundee West’s MSP to offer apologies!! I’ll probably in beside my boy before that happens.

Thanks for reading!!

Good Afternoon,

I can confirm that I will be able to join Mr and Mrs Welsh at this time. Thank you for making these arrangements.

Joe FitzPatrick MSP (Dundee City West)
a: 37 Dock Street, Dundee, DD1 3DR
t: 01382 843244

—–Original Message—–
From: Phil Welsh

Hi Jackie,

The date and venue are fine for myself and Lesley.



Good afternoon Mr Welsh

Further to my colleague’s telephone call with you on Friday 18 August, I can confirm that a meeting has been arranged to meet with Ms Lesley McLay, Chief Executive and Professor Andrew Russell, Medical Director on Friday 1 September at 10am within Level 10, Ninewells Hospital. Can you please confirm if this is suitable for yourself, Ms Nicoll and Mr FitzPatrick.

Kind Regards,

Subject: Hello

Dear Lesley,

Could you arrange a space in your diary in the next few weeks to meet up and have a conversation with myself regarding my son Lee Welsh.

Lee took his own life on Monday the 8th of August at home.

I would like to meet with you to discuss the mechanics of an official complaint in regard to the lack of mental health resources available pertinent to Lee’s situation and to get a clearer understanding of the generic response offered by the NHS which was included in an article regarding my sons plight printed in the Evening Telegraph on Saturday the 12th of August.

Hope to hear from you.


Phil Welsh