Dad of tragic Dundee man fears mental health services will buckle under pressure

Phil was recently interviewed by Jamie Milligan from the Courier about what the the proposed changes to mental health services within NHS Tayside might mean for staff and patients. The original article is HERE


Phil fears local mental health services will be unable to cope.

The father of a Dundee man who took his own life fears local mental health services will “implode” if plans to close NHS Tayside’s Mulberry Unit go ahead.

Lee Welsh, 27, died in August after suffering from mental health issues.

Now his father, who is pursuing a complaint against the medical practice where the 27-year-old was a patient, has had first-hand experience of the system and says he is worried about the strain on services in Dundee if the move goes ahead.

Phil Welsh began to suffer severe anxiety and symptoms of agoraphobia following Lee’s death and was treated at Dundee’s Carseview Centre.

He says the treatment he received was “brilliant” but he fears the touted closure of the Mulberry Unit at Stracathro Hospital, near Montrose and the transfer of services to Carseview will heap too much pressure on staff.

NHS Tayside’s three-month public consultation on mental health and learning disability services ended last week.

Last night health bosses insisted they would take all responses on board when weighing up a final decision – and stressed that the aim was to create centres of excellence for patient care.

The preferred option on the table is to close the Mulberry Unit and transfer services and staff to Carseview.

However Mr Welsh said he had grave concerns about the proposal.

“I can only see the entire situation imploding,” he said. “It looks like centralisation is the way they want to go.  I still think there should be something else there, like the Edinburgh Crisis Centre, somewhere for people to go and have a chat with someone.

“If they’re going to send everyone in a crisis up to Carseview, staff are going to have it up to here. It’s an absolute shame. You can’t expect Carseview to pick up every single thing. It’s just not feasible.”

Mr Welsh said forcing patients who are already under great strain to travel from Perthshire and Angus to Dundee for treatment could be disastrous.

He added: “I hit the wall about six weeks after Lee’s death. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life, it was awful.

“The paramedic said it was the worst panic attack she had seen in 22 years on the job. Carseview’s crisis team were absolutely brilliant. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would be here today. ”

Chief officer for Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Robert Packham said:  “Should the preferred option for mental health and learning disability services in Tayside be approved, it would allow us to make better use of our nursing and medical staff enabling us to continue to deliver high quality, sustainable patient care.

“Locating all General Adult Psychiatry (GAP) acute admissions at Carseview and specialist services and Learning Disabilities at Murray Royal will allow us to create centres of excellence through shared learning/experiences and remove unnecessary variation across localities.

“The preferred option would mean that GAP acute admission beds in Mulberry Ward at the Susan Carnegie Centre and Moredun Ward in Murray Royal Hospital would relocate to Carseview Centre.

“It is important to note that if the preferred option is approved, the staff from the Mulberry Ward and the Moredun Ward would move with their patients to ensure continuity of clinical care. The nursing teams would also benefit from additional staffing resources.

“People across Angus, Dundee, and Perth and Kinross have shared valuable feedback during the three-month consultation on proposals for Mental Health and Learning Disability Services in Tayside.

“All views gathered during the consultation will be included in a final report with recommendations for the new service model, which will be presented to the relevant Boards and Committees in December 2017/January 2018 before Perth and Kinross Integration Joint Board makes a decision based on all the facts and opinions presented.”


Mental Health Service Redesign   

From Phil – Please read below. if anyone is free to pop along to the steeple church on Wednesday the 13th September to offer their views and opinion re mental health this would be very helpful and appreciated. Again if you could share this on your social media it would be appreciated ty. 

Mental Health Service Redesign   

Transformation Programme


Issue 5, August 2017

NHS Tayside is redesigning Adult Mental Health Inpatient
Services and Learning Disability Inpatient Services as part
of its Mental Health Services Redesign Transformation Programme.


Consultation events

People have been sharing their views during the first six weeks of the public consultation on proposals to move to a single site for General Adult Psychiatry (GAP) acute admissions at Carseview Centre in Dundee and a single site for Learning Disability (LD) services at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth.  The option has already been presented to NHS Tayside committees, Tayside NHS Board, and Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus Integration Joint Boards.


The consultation will run until Wednesday 4 October 2017, during which time the programme team is gathering views and feedback from service users, carers, staff and members of the public.  All views will be included in a final report with recommendations for the new service model, which will be presented back to the NHS Tayside and Integration Joint Boards before Perth & Kinross Integration Joint Board makes a final decision.


A series of public consultation events will be held across Tayside in September which will offer an opportunity to give views on the proposals.


  • Monday 4 September, 4-6pm, St Andrews Church, Hamilton Green, Arbroath
  • Tuesday 5 September, 2-5pm, Montrose YMCA, 98 Murray Street, Montrose
  • Thursday 7 September, 11am-2.30pm, Kirriemuir Town Hall, Reform Street, Kirriemuir
  • Monday 11 September, 2-6pm, Gannochy Suite, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth
  • Tuesday 12 September, 11am-2.30pm, Strathearn Artspace, 6 Comrie Street, Crieff
  • Wednesday 13 September, 2-6pm, The Steeple, Nethergate, Dundee
  • Thursday 14 September, 2-5pm, Blairgowrie Town Hall, Brown Street, Blairgowrie
  • Monday 18 September, 11am-2pm, Pitlochry Town Hall, West Moulin Road, Pitlochry
  • Wednesday 20 September, 11am-2.30pm, Auchterarder Community Church, High Street, Auchterarder
  • Thursday 21 September, 11am-2.30pm, Loch Leven Community Campus, The Muirs, Kinross


Information about the proposed option and an online questionnaire are available on the consultation website  People can also email, call Freephone 0800 7836 110 or write to Public Involvement, Tayside NHS Board, Freepost SCO 6181, Dundee, DD3 8ZR.


Launching the consultation, Chief Officer for Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Robert Packham said, “People across Angus, Dundee, and Perth & Kinross have been sharing valuable feedback with us during the first half of the consultation period for mental health and learning disability services and these information events will be a further opportunity for people to have their voices heard.


“We would like to hear as many views as possible from people across Tayside and would encourage members of the public to take part in the consultation and give us their feedback on the proposed option.”

Please use the buttons below to share to your social media timelines. Good attendances at these meetings is really important.

The link below will open a PDF poster with the above dates on it.

15-8Mental Health and Learning Disability public sessions – Tayside poster