NHS Tayside must be ready to “respond positively” to criticisms and backlash resulting from the state of mental health services in the region, the health board’s chief executive has said in a recent interview.
An independently sponsored inquiry into mental health provided in Tayside is currently ongoing following concerns raised about the level of treatments afforded to patients and experiences of severe side-effects after administration, particularly at the Carseview Centre at Ninewells Hospital.
This inquiry was mandated as a result of various incidents especially after a campaign was launched by relatives of men who took their own lives after being refused treatment by the centre.
The preliminary report published in May revealed a Distasteful list of failures related to the clinic, chief among them including illegal drugs being administered in wards and also concerns over patient restraints.
The report which was over 22-pages also revealed some patients with very high violent tendencies, who had been allowed to be discharged from the unit, while the unit often could not cope with the demands being placed upon it.
The chief executive of NHS Tayside, Grant Archibald has said that the health board must ensure its work is “carried out effectively”.
He said, “Mental health has clearly and always been a major issue on the agenda”. “Mental health is a large and increasingly difficult-to-tackle issue in our beloved communities. It is very complex and very challenging, but we must not let down our Guard.
“Defeating this common enemy is a crucial priority of mine and since I’ve been here we have worked tirelessly with a very dedicated team to try to improve the quality of health services provide here, and also taking on board various recommendations from previous reports, understanding our response to the BBC documentary (on Carseview) and taking actions as it relates to what David Strang said in his interim report.”
Mr Archibald added: “this is not about how hard we are trying but how effective we have being.
“We must try to respond in a positive way when we are given either a contructive criticism or recommendations but also understanding mental health, particularly those related to drugs use, is a complex situation.
“Mental health is a result of how individuals have lived their lives and also their social experiences. It is very important that we engage with all the partner organisations and the third sector to understand what exactly is causing the problems in mental health and what we can do to challenge and solve this issues, and how we can more effectively treat people.
Mr Archibald also showered praises on mental health initiatives such as “green health prescriptions” that can help individuals suffering from mental health issues.
Various trials are currently underway in parts of Dundee that allow GPs to prescribe “time in nature” for patients, if suitable.
William Kellogg is a veteran writer who’s covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.