NHS Tayside will hold crunch consultation meetings in June which could lead to the closure of a specialist medical facility in Angus.
Last month the health board approved a proposal to reduce the number of adult psychiatry inpatient services in Tayside from three to one or two locations.
Currently there are three acute admission wards – Carseview in Dundee, Murray Royal in Perth and the Mulberry at Stracathro Hospital.
Campaigners in Angus are concerned that the Mulberry Unit has already been identified as the preferred option for the closure.
A petition set up by an Angus woman to stop its closure has attracted more than 2,000 signatures.
NHS Tayside has stressed no final decision has been made and has outlined its programme of consultation events before it delivers its verdict later this year.
A statement from NHS Tayside said: “A series of stakeholder events will be held to develop and score the options with clinical, service and administration staff and service user and carer representatives invited to take part.
“The three Tayside Integrated Joint Boards will also be asked to nominate representatives from the Health and Social Care Partnerships to participate.
“It is planned that the sessions will take place in June which will give participants plenty of notice so they can make arrangements to attend.
“Training in the options appraisal process will also be offered to participants. Dates and venues will be circulated to participants once confirmed.
“During July and August, a full business case will be produced from the outcome of the options appraisal events with supporting data, financial appraisal, impact assessments and including the feedback gathered during the engagement process.”
The outcome of the exercise will be shared with the integrated joint boards in Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross and Tayside NHS Board for a decision on the preferred model. There will be a further period of consultation with the public.
“Tayside NHS Board members welcomed the new approach to involving and engaging with local stakeholders and looked forward to the full reports being presented at its meeting in August,” the statement added.
The purpose built Mulberry Unit is the largest of three wards at the £20 million Susan Carnegie Centre which was opened in December 2011, providing 25 beds.
Jenny Laird, from Tannadice, who started the petition against the closure of the Mulberry said she hoped that proper consultation would take place.
She said: “Out of the three units, the Mulberry is that last one that NHS Tayside should be considering closing as it provides such excellent care.
“It works very well as a safe haven for people and it’s known as a centre for excellence in the UK for inpatient treatment.”