A local MSP has lamented the “very troubling” rise in people being readmitted to hospital on mental health grounds within weeks of being discharged.
Figures published by NHS Scotland show 16.3% of adults discharged from hospital after being treated for mental illness were readmitted within 28 days.
Only patients in Lothian and Dumfries and Galloway were more likely to be readmitted within the same period.
Tayside also has a higher suicide rate than almost any other region in Scotland (behind only the Highlands, Forth Valley and the Orkney Isles) of 14.4 people in every 100,000 between 2012 and 2016. This is despite mental health services in Tayside having more workers per head than any other health board in Scotland.
Readmission rates have risen from 11.9% in 2012-13, whilst suicide rates at the end of 2011 were around 14.2 people per 100,000.
North East region Scottish Conservative MSP Bill Bowman said: “At some point, one in four people will experience a mental health condition.
“NHS Tayside staff are doing their best to deal with the growing number of people who come to them with symptoms of depression and low mood.
“Because Tayside has such a high suicide rate, NHS Tayside needs resources to dig in to why people come back to hospital so quickly.”
NHS Tayside said patients were only discharged after a clinical assessment by a psychiatrist, with a spokeswoman saying there were “many reasons” for readmission.
She continued: “Patients can sometimes experience a new episode of illness for which admission to hospital is the most appropriate course of treatment.
“Each suicide is a tragedy and the impact on those left behind lasts a lifetime.
“Every suicide in Tayside is comprehensively reviewed by the Tayside multi-agency Suicide Review Group to look at the circumstances surrounding each individual case.”
n Help and information can be found by downloading the “Suicide? Help!” app, calling NHS 24 on 111, Samaritans on Freephone 116 123 or Breathing Space on 0800 838587.