Workshops examining the future for mental health services in Tayside are underway.
The first option appraisal workshop was attended by around 100 people, including service users, carers, voluntary, third sector and partner organisations, as well as doctors, nurses, Allied Health Professionals and support staff from NHS Tayside and Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnerships.
The purpose of the event was to identify and develop options to provide general adult psychiatry inpatient services on one site and on two sites as requested by Tayside NHS Board at its meeting in March.
The services are currently provided from four wards across three sites in Tayside: Moredun Ward at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth; Wards 1 and 2 at Carseview Centre in Dundee; and Mulberry Ward at Susan Carnegie Centre on the Stracathro Hospital site in Angus.
It is these four wards that Tayside NHS Board has agreed should be provided from one or two locations in future.
NHS bosses have stressed this does not mean that any of these sites will close as all of the facilities also provide other mental health services including psychiatry of old age, intensive psychiatric care, rehabilitation, complex care and substance misuse.
Participants at the event developed a list of options.
Before the next workshop, which takes places on June 30 further information will be provided for each of the short-listed options, allowing participants to score the options and identify the preferred service models.
Montrose Councillor David May has warned against the closure of any facilities in Angus.
“It is obvious that closure will mean additional travel and costs for many patients and staff, and support from family and friends for patients will be more difficult,” he said.
A petition to ensure status quo at the Mulberry Unit is retained has now attracted more than 2,000 signatures.
The Mulberry is the largest unit at the Susan Carnegie Centre at Stracathro, which was opened in December 2011 at the cost of £20 million.
It provides 25 beds for acute admission, assessment and treatment for adults with mental health problems.