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Health committee urged to broaden Mulberry Unit consultation

The Mulberry Unit was based in the £20 million Susan Carnegie Centre.
The Mulberry Unit was based in the £20 million Susan Carnegie Centre.

Health chiefs have today been asked to leave all options on the table for an Angus mental health ward.

The Perthshire integrated joint board (IJB) on health will be asked to approve consultation over NHS Tayside aims to centralise acute mental health admissions in Dundee.

That is the board’s preferred option for “safe and sustainable” mental health care as there are not enough staff to operate the Mulberry Unit at Stracathro Hospital and the Moredun ward at Perth’s Murray Royal Hospital.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Angus board saw local councillors ask their Perth colleagues to expand the consultation — potentially opening the door for Mulberry and Moredun to retain all or part of their original use while top-priority patients could still be admitted to the Carseview Centre at Ninewells Hospital.

Arbroath councillor David Fairweather made an amendment passing along the request for four options to be included in the consultation, including the recommended option, backed by councillors Julie Bell and Lois Speed.

And a plea has gone out for the residents of Angus to get involved in the process, set to commence on July 3.

Councillor Bell said after the meeting: “More than 20 years ago, there was a strategic shift away from large, centralised institutions like Sunnyside Royal Hospital and Liff, towards community-based services.

“As effective and person-centred as these services might be, there will always be a need for inpatient beds for people in crisis, perhaps, or periods when their condition merits more intensive treatments and observation.

“I would argue that in these situations, it is even more important that people are cared for more locally, to help people feel they are still in their home community of Angus, and to support family and friends to visit, which ensures people are not even more isolated and stigmatised than their mental health condition often dictates.

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“Centralising inpatient care in Dundee or Perth passes the burden of cost, including transport, time and emotional distress, to families and staff.

“It seems to me that if we are to truly deliver care and support for people in their communities, for people in Angus, that includes the provision of inpatient services in their community, not the community of someone who lives in Dundee or Perth and Kinross.”

 

 

 

Information about the consultation will be available at www.taysidementalhealthredesign.scot.nhs.uk after July 3.

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