A Tayside man has written to senior members of the Scottish Government in response to changes to mental health services.
Crawford Buchan has contacted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Health Secretary Shona Robison and his local MSPs Roseanna Cunningham and John Swinney.
The 48-year-old from Perth has been treated for bipolar disorder for more than 20 years, being first admitted to the Moredun B Ward in Murray Royal Hospital in 1998.
Mr Buchan, who wrote a book about his experiences, feels the NHS has let him and other patients down — and thinks lives will be lost across the region as services are centralised to Dundee’s Carseview.
Mr Buchan said: “The decision to move the Moredun B Ward to Carseview was made by the Integrated Joint Board on January 21.
“I contacted Roseanna Cunningham to tell her I thought the decision was an absolute disgrace.
“She came back to me telling me her hands were tied and that there was a full, public consultation.
“What she didn’t say was that the consultation was completely ignored — a majority of the people who responded were in favour of keeping the Moredun B Ward open.
“I’ve been admitted to both the Moredun B Ward and Carseview and there’s really no comparison. In the Moredun you have your own room, a nice garden and things, it’s a more homely, welcoming place.
“In Carseview, it’s more like a dormitory, the facilities really aren’t great. When I’ve been ill in the past I was admitted in Perth, but if I knew I would be going to Carseview, I’d have been trying my best not to go.
“That decision could be the difference between life and death for some people. The journey to Dundee is 40 minutes — that’s a long time if you’re seriously mentally ill.”
Chief officer for Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, Robert Packham, said providing mental health services across three sites was no longer a sustainable model of care, and could “pose a significant clinical risk” to patients due to a national doctor and nurse shortage, and that patient safety is the board’s “overriding priority”.
He added: “All feedback received during the consultation was included in a report to the Integration Joint Board of Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, which approved the recommendations at its meeting in January.”