Men­tal health ser­vices pay­ing price of NHS ‘fail­ures’, claims group.

Con­sul­ta­tion: Only one pos­si­ble out­come, says com­mu­nity group

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Jake keith jkeith@the­courier.co.uk

An An­gus com­mu­nity group has ac­cused NHS Tay­side of “his­tor­i­cal fail­ures” amid crit­i­cism of a re­cent con­sul­ta­tion on men­tal health ser­vices in the area.

NHS Tay­side’s three-month pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on men­tal health and learn­ing dis­abil­ity ser­vices ended last week.

The pre­ferred op­tion is to close Stra­cathro Hospi­tal’s Mul­berry Unit and trans­fer ser­vices to the Car­se­view Cen­tre in Dundee.

Although the unit is in north An­gus, Carnoustie Com­mu­nity Coun­cil has now voiced the con­cerns of lo­cal res­i­dents and ar­gues that the con­sul­ta­tion was de­signed to end in only one pos­si­ble out­come.

A spokesman said: “The con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment is writ­ten in a style in which the reader is en­cour­aged to un­crit­i­cally ac­cept what is ef­fec­tively the only op­tion on the ta­ble.

“It is dif­fi­cult not to con­clude that,

The con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment is writ­ten in a style in which the reader is en­cour­aged to un­crit­i­cally ac­cept what is ef­fec­tively the only op­tion on the ta­ble

de­spite a de­nial to the con­trary, the re­design pro­pos­als are at least as much of a fund­ing-led as a re­sources-led process.

“Cer­tainly, it is not a needs-led process.

“As a con­se­quence, it ap­pears to be the res­i­dents of An­gus who are be­ing asked to pay the price for his­tor­i­cal fail­ures in work­force plan­ning and on­go­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion of staff within the NHS.”

Robert Pack­ham, chief of­fi­cer for the Perth and Kin­ross Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, which is lead­ing the con­sul­ta­tion, said: “The over­all plans for men­tal health will in­clude a greater em­pha­sis on ser­vices in the com­mu­nity.

“Spe­cial­ist cen­tres will in­creas­ingly look af­ter those with the most com­plex needs and for some peo­ple it should no longer be nec­es­sary to live in a hospi­tal long term.”

Mr Pack­ham added the board con­sid­ered 17 po­ten­tial op­tions dur­ing an 18-month ap­praisal with ser­vice users, car­ers, doc­tors, nurses and hospi­tal and com­mu­nity staff.

The top four were then sub­jected to de­tailed re­view, with the pre­ferred op­tion emerg­ing af­ter con­sid­er­a­tion of fac­tors in­clud­ing clin­i­cal safety, staffing, build­ings and long-term sus­tain­abil­ity.

Fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion showed none of the other op­tions would be fea­si­ble or sus­tain­able, he said.

The pre­ferred op­tion in the con­sul­ta­tion is to close the Mul­berry Unit, based at Stra­cathro Hospi­tal.

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