Sturgeon urged to act on NHS Tayside mental health services

Richard Leonard asked the First Minister to intervene in the health board's handling of services.

Leonard urged Sturgeon to 'step in' on the matter. <strong>Getty Images</strong>
Leonard urged Sturgeon to 'step in' on the matter. Getty Images

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has asked Nicola Sturgeon to intervene in NHS Tayside’s handling of mental health services.

He said an interim report of an inquiry into the services by David Strang suggested the health board should immediately halt its drive towards centralising its mental health care provision in Dundee.

Leonard said: “He (Strang) said proposals to centralise mental health services in Dundee should not be considered before ‘a comprehensive review of mental health service strategy is carried out’.

“But not only has NHS Tayside failed to carry out that review, worse still the board is pressing ahead with the centralisation of those services.

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Responding to Leonard at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, the First Minister said: “Let me be very clear, when an independent inquiry makes recommendations, it’s the expectation of me and of the Scottish Government that they are fully taken account of by NHS boards, and I would expect NHS Tayside to take account of the recommendations made by David Strang.”

Leonard called on the First Minister to “step in” on the matter.

Sturgeon, who offered her condolences to families who have lost a loved one through suicide, said she would “reflect” on the matter “given the seriousness of the issues that have been raised with me”.

She added: “I’ll repeat what I said in my earlier answer, it is my expectation that health boards properly take account of recommendations like this one in the decision-making processes that they are required to undertake.

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“I will certainly consider carefully the points that were raised by Richard Leonard today.

“It’s important that we listen to the lived experience of patients and of their relatives and to do that in good faith and in all sincerity.”


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