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

Yes. That will be important. The chair of NHS Tayside and I have discussed the point that the inquiry’s chair must not just have the right skill set but be independent of the health service and the Scottish Government. It is important that the inquiry’s chair inspires confidence in the families and in the public at large that the inquiry will make positive changes. I will come back to that.

Miles Briggs made the important point that we must recognise the efforts of the staff who are involved. We must put it on the record that many people have had good treatment from mental health services in NHS Tayside. I agree with Miles Briggs’s comment about personal attacks on Gillian Murray. Families need to be able to speak out without being criticised on social media or anywhere else. I have made my views about that clear.

Alison Johnstone made an important point about recruitment and retention and the high turnover of locum psychiatrists. This will be a difficult time for NHS Tayside, especially as it tries to attract new staff to mental health services in the region. It is my aspiration that the independent inquiry will be seen as a force for good, and that it will help to bring new staff to NHS Tayside. The inquiry needs to be seen as a positive thing.