NHS chiefs have admitted mental health needs to be “higher up the agenda” after services were given a scathing report by the leader of an independent inquiry.
Former prisons boss David Strang told Tayside Health Board a “fundamental redesign” of mental health services was needed.
He revealed issues flagged up in the Independent Inquiry’s interim report were based on real-life examples from the last two years.
“As much as there have been cases up to 20 years ago, everything that we have happened in 2018 or 2019,” he told stunned board members.
“As an example, looking at adverse events – when things go wrong – you would expect there to be a policy on recording those. But when we’ve analysed reports and spoken to staff it has become clear the policy is not being adhered to.
“There is a gap between policies and the experience of what’s happening on the ground.”
The meeting is the first between the NHS board and Mr Strang since the report was published in May.
Outgoing NHS Tayside chairman John Brown said he was “reassured” by the report because of how well it was highlighting issues, adding: “It is now a question of how we actually respond to these issues at pace.”
However, other board members shared their unease at the breadth of issues the report has exposed.
Tayside was rapped for how it runs and monitors services, with witnesses claiming patients’ suicide threats were not taken seriously until they had eventually tried to kill themselves.
The Carseview Centre was singled out over allegations of drug use on its wards; community teams said they were “overwhelmed”.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
Board member Pat Kilpatrick said she had “printed out the report and read it three or four times” in order to properly come to terms with it.
“There are some very worrying things we need to be concerned about,” she said.