NHS Tayside (Mental Health Services)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th May 2018.

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Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I, too, welcome the families to the gallery, and thank them for getting us to this point. The new leadership team at NHS Tayside has listened; it has come in with a fresh pair of ears, heard the calls from the families and, with the chair’s announcement last Friday, responded appropriately.

As other members have pointed out, it would be wrong to focus the inquiry purely on Carseview; it is right and proper that the inquiry will look across all of NHS Tayside. As others have said, lessons for improving mental health services in Tayside might well apply elsewhere in Scotland, which is an important point.

As I hope I said in my intervention on Anas Sarwar’s opening speech, it is important from the start that the independent inquiry is just that—independent. It is most important that it has the confidence of the families, who should be involved from the start in developing the terms of reference. The inquiry’s chair, who will have a challenging job in progressing this important work, must have the right skill set and inspire the families’ confidence. All those things are important.

Last night, I had a further discussion with the chair of NHS Tayside, John Brown. I assure members that he absolutely appreciates the importance of every one of the issues. He will put a lot of thought into the process. Families might wish to be involved in different ways, but they should all have the opportunity to be involved and to be heard.