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11.07.18

Police to meet with NHS Tayside over Carseview Centre drug allegations

 The chairman of one of Scotland’s biggest NHS regions is to meet with the police following harrowing allegations of treatment of patients in a mental health unit.

Former patients at Carseview mental health facility in Dundee told BBC documentary ‘Breaking Point’ they were bullied and pinned to the floor on wards where the use of illegal drugs was pervasive and frequent throughout.

With 80 beds, and over a thousand patient admissions every year, Carseview Centre is one of Scotland’s largest mental health units, as part of the NHS Tayside region which supports over 400,000 people, including the city of Dundee.

The programme claims that the use of face-down restraining was used on patients for extended periods of time and patients were mocked and shouted at.

Chairman of NHS Tayside John Brown said yesterday he remains “very concerned” about the claims made and will be meeting with Police Scotland to discuss drug usage in Carseview and how the issue will be tackled preceding the launch of a new initiative in the coming weeks.

“I have now seen the BBC report on the Carseview Centre and I remain very concerned about the claims made by the patients and family members featured in the programme,” Brown said. “As a board, we are addressing the concerns raised and actively investigating the patient experiences which have been shared with us.”

Brown noted that former HM chief inspector of prisons David Strang will be appointed to lead an independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside.

Brown said: “The ongoing independent inquiry will obviously play a critical role in ensuring that the experiences of patients, families and staff are heard so that we can learn lessons and improve our services.”

North East Scotland MSP Jenny Marra called for the unit to be put into special measures.

Responding to statements on the BBC report that Carseview Centre should be closed, Brown said that the unit is “critical” in the area and continued strengthening of the leadership team can deliver best outcomes for patients.

“I believe that by strengthening the leadership team and continuing to support staff, alongside what we learn from the ongoing work and outcome of the independent inquiry, we will address the concerns raised and make further improvements to ensure we can deliver the best outcomes for patients at Carseview,” the region chair added.

A review of data on restraint used at Carseview Centre will also be ordered, as well as the appointment of an associate medical director for mental health services Professor Keith Matthews to strengthen the leadership team and work on the frontline.

Brown concluded: “It is important to say that our staff do work very hard and we are ensuring they have all the support they need to be able to deliver the best care for our patients. However, the claims must be investigated and that is our priority.”

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Image credit: Google 

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