The chair of the Tayside mental health inquiry has given fresh assurances to those who say his first report does not address all of their concerns.
The Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services in Tayside has identified “serious challenges” in local psychiatric care in its interim report, published today.
The probe was launched following pressure from families of those who have died while engaging with services. They today described the new report as “fluff”.
Gillian Murray, whose uncle David Ramsay killed himself in 2016, said: “It brushes over the (initial) assessments, where the majority are taking their lives. I don’t think it goes far enough.
“I’ll wait and see the full report. I’m cautiously optimistic about whether the NHS will implement any changes.”
Mandy Mclaren’s son Dale Thomson took his own life after leaving the Carseview Centre.
She said: “There isn’t enough on how Carseview assesses people.
“How many people have gone up to be assessed and been told there’s nothing wrong with them?
“We’ve got to keep going – it doesn’t stop with this report.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who has backed the families’ campaign, said: “For the families involved, this report will do little to meet their expectations.”
Inquiry chair David Strang has given assurances that assessments will be expanded upon in his final report, which will have recommendations for services to adopt.
And while families fear a soft-touch conclusion to the probe, he has insisted that will not happen.
He said: “This report is about identifying what the issues are. We don’t want (the final report) to just be something that looks good on a shelf.
“We want to lay out how recommendations can be achieved.”
NHS Tayside has been criticised over how it runs, modifies and monitors services. Witnesses have claimed patients are not taken seriously by staff, with suicidal threats ignored until people have attempted to kill themselves.
Carseview has been singled out for criticism over allegations of drug use on its wards and staff “aggressively” applying restraint.
GPs also report “frustrations” with referring patients to mental health services while community health teams have described “overwhelming” workloads.
NHS Tayside chairman John Brown said: “The interim report will be carefully considered and we will discuss it with Mr Strang.”