‘Long way to go’ to fix Tayside’s mental health services

A progress report has found NHS Tayside has 'missed opportunities' to listen to people to improve services.

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A progress report into failing mental health services in Tayside has said “there’s still a long way to go“.

There have been some positive improvements but also missed opportunities for listening to people, while a lack of trust and respect and a culture of bullying continues, the report said.

NHS Tayside has acknowledged that challenges remain in a number of key areas.

Gillian Murray has been campaigning for change after her uncle took his own life in 2016.

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David Ramsay had twice pleaded for help from the Carseview psychiatric centre in Dundee, but was turned away both times.

Ms Murray said: “I had to watch my uncle, my best mate, literally lose his mind in front of me and asking for help.

“It wasn’t there, it should have been there.”

The family’s campaign for change led to an independent review into the mental health services offered by NHS Tayside, and last year the inquiry made 51 recommendations. 

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However 18 months on, the progress report says there remains “a long way to go” to deliver the improvements required.

Dr David Strang, independent inquiry chair, said: “What we found was patients and families and carers saying they didn’t feel they were listened to and taken seriously. 

“They were made promises that someone would get back to them and then found out they hadn’t.

“We spoke to a lot of staff who felt unsupported and quite isolated and there was a fear of a blame culture.”

The review praised improvements to child mental health services and the development of local mental health hubs

However, the report said a culture of trust is still lacking, with concerns from staff and families about the quality of care.

Community mental health teams are struggling with the demands, leadership is “still divided”, and the health board has an “over optimistic” assessment of improvements.

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In a statement, NHS Tayside said it “recognises that challenges remain in a number of key areas, including clinical staffing and a shift in culture for patients, families and staff.

The health board said it “remains committed to its pledge to build a listening, learning and changing culture with our staff and a parallel, positive committed, long-term relationship with those whom we serve”.

For those who’ve lost loved ones, they say change must happen quicker to save other families the heartache they still suffer.

“They failed David but his death isn’t in vain because I fought and others fought to make sure other people actually get the treatment they deserve,” Ms Murray said.

NHS Tayside chair Lorna Birse-Stewart’s statement in full

“The board of NHS Tayside welcomes today’s report by Dr Strang and his review team and we will now be taking the time to consider all aspects of the report, alongside our partners, to respond to the five actions which have been recommended.

“The review team state in today’s report that it found a great deal of positive changes in progress and was impressed with the commitment and dedication of staff, partner organisations and others seeking to make a difference for patients and the wider community in Tayside.

“The report also recognises good progress on improvements to services across Tayside. This includes praise for the work to develop better ways to support inpatients and their families and carers on wards by involving them in care planning, ongoing improvements in child and adolescent mental health services and the delivery of many positive developments in the community such as the mental health discharge hub and the local mental health hubs planned in each Health and Social Care Partnership area.

“This feedback to our frontline health and social care teams delivering mental health services is extremely welcome as they have delivered these improvements against a backdrop of the uncertainties and additional daily challenges in dealing with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Nonetheless, we very much recognise that challenges remain in a number of key areas for all partners involved in delivering mental health and learning disability services in Tayside. These include clinical staffing, the longer-term achievement of a shift in culture for patients, families and staff, a simplification of the more complex arrangements and relationships between organisations providing different aspects of services and the ongoing commitment to co-design services which are truly centred around communities and individuals in need.

“The board of NHS Tayside will continue to make mental health and wellbeing a priority for action and has re-stated its commitment to do everything it can to make a difference and improve the mental health and wellbeing of the citizens of Tayside.”

Reflecting on key achievements since the publication of the Trust and Respect report in February 2020, Mrs Birse-Stewart added: “Trust and Respect represented a significant point for mental health and learning disability services in Tayside. The independent assessment of services delivered by Dr Strang to NHS Tayside and its partners laid out 51 recommendations which, when brought together, created a roadmap to achieve longer term and sustainable changes and improvements.

“The board of NHS Tayside accepted all recommendations in the report and, despite the uncertainties and demands of the intensive first phase response to the pandemic, immediately worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the Listen Learn Change Action Plan, published in August 2020.

“Since then, our mental health and learning disability workforce have worked hard to make the necessary changes and improvements to deliver many of the actions set out in the plan, as well as respond to the unprecedented challenges and increasing demands of the pandemic, both in our hospitals and in our communities.

“It is down to the hard work and dedication of the teams that the majority of the specific action-focused recommendations of Trust and Respect are complete. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their ongoing efforts; we remain extremely grateful to everyone working across our mental health and learning disability services at this time.

“One of the key recommendations set out by the Trust and Respect report was to conduct an urgent whole system review of mental health and wellbeing provision across Tayside to enable a fundamental redesign of services for Tayside.

“This significant piece of work was undertaken over a six-month period in 2020-2021 and culminated in February 2021 with the publication of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy: Living Life Well – a lifelong approach to mental health in Tayside.

“The strategy was developed following a programme of work with more than 600 local stakeholders, including people with lived experience, their families and carers along with voluntary and third sector organisations, NHS Tayside staff, local authorities and Police Scotland and it sets out a clear and ambitious direction of travel for services in the future.

“The delivery of the strategy is a key milestone in the improvement and change journey of mental health services in Tayside, however, it is recognised that the transformation of services takes time and NHS Tayside is clear-sighted about the progress achieved to date at a time when staff and services have been – and remain – under unexpected, additional pressures.

“We know that there is work still to do and we are realistic about the scale of the challenge ahead.

“Last month we published the Listen Learn Change Progress Overview which is NHS Tayside’s evidenced status report on the progress made against the 51 recommendations by teams and services since the publication of the Listen Learn Change Action Plan in August 2020.

“Importantly, it recognises that even where actions to address a recommendation have been completed, the improvements cannot stop there and therefore it looks ahead to the next steps and how we can build on the achievements so far and strengthen the progress made.

“Clearly, those with lived experience have been pivotal in the improvements made over the past 12 months and we wish to make sure their voices are strong as we embark on the next phase of our work which is to develop an implementation plan to deliver the Tayside Mental Health Strategy. It is crucial that their voices continue to be heard – and their experiences help us shape – the long-term future of mental health and wellbeing services in Tayside.

“The board of NHS Tayside remains committed to its pledge to build a listening, learning and changing culture with our staff and a parallel, positive committed, long-term relationship with those whom we serve.”


Coronavirus: Another 18 Omicron cases recorded in Scotland

Scottish Government data shows one coronavirus-linked death and 2067 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours.

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A total of 48 people have contracted the Omicron variant in Scotland.

A total of 18 new cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours, taking the overall number to 48.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the largest rise, with 12 more cases, taking its total to 23.

NHS Lanarkshire recorded four new cases in 24 hours and has 13 overall.

One more case was confirmed in the Forth Valley health board area, taking the total to six.

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A case of the new variant was recorded in NHS Lothian for the first time. Case numbers in NHS Highland and NHS Grampian remain at three and two respectively.

Scotland has also recorded one coronavirus-linked death and 2067 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

The Scottish Government said Public Health Scotland is aware of an “ongoing processing issue with UK Government lab tests which may impact on cases and tests” in the daily figures and investigations are under way to resolve the problem.

The death toll under the daily measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, is 9649, but the Scottish Government said registry office are generally closed at the weekend which can impact figures.

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The daily test positivity rate was 9.6%, up from 7.6% the previous day.

There were 586 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 as of Saturday night and, of these, 45 were in intensive care.

So far, 4,352,104 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 3,958,162 have had a second, and 1,859,735 have been given a third dose or booster.

Body found in the search for missing 28-year-old man

The family of Joel McDiarmid has been informed of the discovery.

Police Scotland
Joel McDiarmid went missing in the Bathgate area last month.

A body has been found in the search for a 28-year-old man who went missing in West Lothian last month.

The family of Joel McDiarmid from Bathgate has been informed of the discovery, although formal identification is yet to take place.

There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.


Mountain rescue teams battle blizzard after man injured in avalanche

They assisted a man who injured his leg during an avalanche.

Cairngorm MT via Facebook

A climber who injured his leg during an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands was rescued as mountain teams faced heavy blizzard conditions.

In dramatic footage posted by Cairngorm MRT, rescuers can be seen battling the elements to assist the man.

The climbers were able to self-rescue down to the floor of Coire an t-Sneachda where they were met by rescuers and stretchered back to the ski area.

The footage was captured on Saturday, with multiple reports of avalanches.

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In a Facebook post, Cairngorm MRT wrote: “MRT just back from a call out for an male with a lower leg injury sustained during an avalanche. The climbers were able to self rescue down to the coire floor, where they were met by team members and stretchered back to the Cairngorm ski area.

“There were multiple reports of avalanches in Coire an t-Sneachda this afternoon.

“Many thanks to Cairngorm Mountain for their assistance duringWe rely on public donations to fund the work that we do, if you would like to contribute, you can also go to our website – https://cmrt.org.uk

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 12.50pm on Saturday, December 4, we received a report of two people falling in an avalanche at Coire A S-Sneachda.

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“Officers and the Cairngorms Mountain Rescue Team were dispatched, and the man and woman were later traced at a nearby rescue post.”

“The man was stretchered off the hill and transported to Raigmore Hospital for treatment to a leg injury.”


Teenagers arrested after 21-year-old man stabbed in city centre

The incident took place on Saturday afternoon.

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Police say that the teenagers will appear in court at a later date, whilst the investigation continues.

Two teenagers have been arrested and charged by police after a 21-year-old was stabbed in Glasgow City Centre.

Officers responded to a report of a man being stabbed on Ingram Street at around 3.30pm on Saturday, December 4.

The man was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and remains there with “serious injuries”.

Police say that the teenagers will appear in court at a later date, whilst the investigation continues.

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A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were called to a report of a man being stabbed on Ingram Street around 3.30pm on Saturday 4 December 2021.

“A 21-year-old man was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he remains with serious injuries.

“Two 17-year-old males have been arrested and charged in connection with the incident, and will appear in court at a later date.

“The investigation is continuing.”


Growing concern for missing man after belongings found at loch

Lawrence Penswick was last seen on Babylon Road in Bellshill in the early hours of Friday morning.

Police Scotland
Lawrence Penswick was last seen in the early hours of Friday morning.

Police in North Lanarkshire are appealing for help to find a missing man whose belongings were recovered near Strathclyde Loch.

Officers are looking for 57-year-old Lawrence Penswick, who was last seen around 2.40am on Friday at Babylon Road in Bellshill.

It’s believed he has travelled to Strathclyde Country Park after some of his belongings were recovered near the south side of Strathclyde Loch.

Lawrence is described as a black male, 5ft 10 inches tall, of a medium build and with short black hair.

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He was last seen wearing a grey “bubble” style jacket and a dark-coloured baseball cap.

His family are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare and anyone with information is asked to call 101, citing reference number 2311 of 4 December.

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Former Scotland rugby captain Gary Callander dies aged 62

Callander made six international appearances and captained the side on five of those occasions.

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Gary Callander had been living with pancreatic cancer.

Former Scotland captain Gary Callander has died at the age 62.

Callander, who had been living with pancreatic cancer, made six international appearances, skippering the team on five of those occasions.

He also captained Kelso, whose president Scott Forbes, as they announced Callander’s death on Sunday, said his “contribution to the history of the club cannot be overstated”.

With Callander as skipper, Kelso claimed a first Border League title in 50 years in the 1985-86 season.

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He subsequently led the club to the Scottish First Division Championship in 1987-88.

Callander also won secured five Melrose Sevens winners’ medals with the club.

Forbes added in Kelso’s statement on their website: “He was a captain, leader and an outstanding rugby player. He will be sorely missed by his ‘rugby family’.

“Our thoughts are with Gary’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time. May he rest in peace.”


Power firms warned of operations review after Storm Arwen outages

Energy Networks Association says more than 3000 homes across the UK were still waiting to be reconnected on Sunday.

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Storm Arwen brought down thousands of trees across the UK.

Energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has warned power firms that the UK Government will review their operations following continuing outages caused by Storm Arwen.

It comes as the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said that 3190 homes were still waiting to be reconnected as of 2pm on Sunday. This was down from 4025 homes on Sunday morning.

The majority of the impacted homes were in the north-east of England, the ENA added.

Kwarteng visited the north-east of England on Sunday to survey the damage done by the storm.

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During a visit to a Northern Powergrid call centre in Penshaw near Sunderland, Kwarteng told the PA news agency: “I think we can make the system a lot more resilient.

“I had an experience on August 9, 2019, when a million people in the South East were commuting and they had a power outage.

“Immediately after that we had a review and we looked at the system and we held the transport and train companies’ feet to the fire and we have got a more resilient system.

“That’s exactly what I want to happen this time.

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“We will have a review, we will see if the distributor companies have enough infrastructure, we may even have enforcement action if necessary.”

Speaking at the call centre, Kwarteng said: “I don’t accept that (the power cuts would have been resolved quicker in the South).

“The physical infrastructure, lay out and landscape is very different.

“One of the particular reasons why we haven’t got people back on the power supply is the weather conditions and they are very challenging (with) people in sparsely populated, very rural areas, and that represents a challenge.”

It comes as Storm Barra is set to hit the UK on Tuesday, bringing strong winds and rain.

As a result, yellow wind weather warnings are in place across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with yellow snow warnings in place in Southern and Western Scotland.

On Saturday, gusts of between 35 to 50 miles per hour battered the country overnight, with temperatures plummeting to below zero in parts of Scotland.

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As well as weather warnings, the Met Office predicts further wet and windy weather heading into next week, with poor weather conditions continuing in areas already impacted by Storm Arwen.

Met Office meteorologist Rachel Ayers said: “It will be a relatively nice day today, but overnight tonight it will be windy.

“Temperatures, with the wind and cloud cover, should stay up tonight.

“That should help things a little bit, but we are expecting some more changeable and unsettled weather.

“This unsettled weather isn’t going to help areas that have been impacted by Storm Arwen too much.”

The Ministry of Defence told PA that 297 personnel from the British Army and Royal Marines were still providing support to civil authorities and conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people on Sunday morning.

On Saturday, Boris Johnson said he had held calls with those leading the response to Storm Arwen and the Government was ready to further support the recovery work “in any way we can”.

The long delays have prompted energy regulator Ofgem to warn it will take enforcement action against network companies who failed to restore power to customers quickly enough.

It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on compensation which could be offered to those stuck without power.

The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they have no electricity, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours of any cut.

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Man arrested over ‘driving offences’ following pensioner’s death

Police say a man was arrested and then released pending further enquiries after the death of Douglas Forbes.

Police Scotland
Police are investigating the death of Douglas Forbes.

A man has been arrested in relation to driving offences following the death of a pensioner in Edinburgh.

Police Scotland said a 69-year-old man was arrested ater Douglas Forbes, 78, was found fatally injured at Academy Park in the Leith area of the city at around 8.50pm on Thursday night.

The man under arrest has since been released and enquiries are ongoing.

Forbes was pronounced dead at the scene on Thursday.

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A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Following the death of 78-year-old Douglas Forbes, at Academy Park in Edinburgh, on Thursday 2 December, we can confirm a 69-year old man has been arrested in relation to driving offences.

“He’s been released pending further enquiries and the investigation continues.”

Anyone with information can contact 101, quoting incident number 3329 of 2 December 2021.


Three people in hospital after multi-vehicle smash on the A9

The two men and a woman were taken to Raigmore Hospital.

© Google Maps 2020
Police have appealed for information who may have information about the incident to contact them.

Two men and a woman were taken to hospital following a three-vehicle crash in the Highlands.

The collision took place on Friday, December 3, at around 6.36pm on the A9 at Cuach, north of Dalwhinnie.

A Black Vauxhall Zafira, a red Audi A3 and a silver Volkswagon Touran were the vehicles involved.

The two men and the woman were taken to Raigmore Hospital where they were treated for their injuries.

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None are believed to be life threatening. 

Police are now appealing for anyone who may have information about the incident to contact them.

Sergeant Neil MacDonald of Roads Policing Unit said: “Our enquiries into the cause of this crash are ongoing and we are appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time to please get in touch.

“In particular, we are keen to speak to anyone who saw the cars or who may have dash-cam footage that can help with our investigation.

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“If you can help, please contact us on 101, quoting reference 2819 of December 3.”


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