The “negligence” of NHS staff at a mental health unit led directly to the death of a man who was refused help, an expert has concluded.
The view of consultant psychiatrist Dr Tim Rogers has given new hope to the family of David Ramsay, 50, who took his own life in Templeton Woods in 2016.
Mr Ramsay had presented at Dundee’s Carseview Centre on October 5 seeking help with his mental health problems.
Staff instead sent him home, suggesting he walk his dog. He was found dead four days later.
David’s father, David Sr, and his niece Gillian Murray are planning a civil action against NHS Tayside – which they say this report can now justify – and are also hoping for a fatal accident inquiry (FAI).
An excerpt from Dr Rogers’ report, expected to be delivered to the family today, said: “In my opinion the staff at Carseview were negligent in not assessing Mr Ramsay properly, not consulting family fully, not arriving at a proper diagnosis including full assessment of risks, and not arranging admission to hospital.
“In my opinion, the negligence led directly to Mr Ramsay’s death.”
Several deaths have been linked to Carseview in recent years. The issues have prompted a parliamentary outcry and an inquiry into mental health services in Tayside.
Gillian said: “As I have said from the beginning, David was failed by NHS Tayside.
“This damning report confirms everything that I have been repeating for nearly three years – it was complete and utter negligence by the staff at Carseview which led directly to David’s death.
“To fight for justice for nearly three years and to have to battle with the NHS for the truth eats you alive. It has nearly killed me fighting for the truth but I knew David was worth fighting for.
“He may not have mattered to the staff at Carseview but he mattered to my family and I.”
Earlier this year, it emerged that Mr Ramsay’s GP had written to Carseview recommending that he be admitted. The letter later went missing from Mr Ramsay’s records.
A spokesman for NHS Tayside said: “As this is a legal matter we are unable to comment. Every suicide is a tragedy and we offer our condolences to the family.”
The Crown Office is still considering whether to proceed with an FAI. It said: “The family are being kept up to date in relation to any significant developments.”