Suicidal patients ‘were told to get a grip’ at NHS Tayside

Inquiry publishes damning report into the standard of mental health care.

A damning report on mental health care in Tayside has made 51 recommendations for change.

An independent inquiry was launched in 2018 after families raised concerns about the care their loved ones had received.

The report published on Wednesday revealed patients who talked about suicide reported being told to “get a grip” and “pull yourself together” by staff.

The inquiry, led by former prison inspector David Strang, highlighted a “breakdown of trust in many aspects of the provision of mental health services in Tayside”.

The health board needs a strategy to deliver a “radical transformational redesign of mental health services”, the report said.

Evidence to the inquiry, which heard from more than 1500 patients, their relatives, staff and other organisations, showed services consistently failed to meet guidelines for care.

Grant Archibald, chief executive at NHS Tayside, said: “For anybody that has had an experience of the NHS services that is less than they might have expected, for anybody that feels their relative has been let down by the service, I offer a sincere apology.

“But more importantly, we will listen to their experiences, we will build upon what they’ve told us, we will learn and we will start to build a service here that they will recognise as much improved and give them the confidence to trust us with their relatives or their own care in the future.”

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