Scotland’s former chief inspector of prisons has been chosen to head the inquiry in mental health services in NHS Tayside.
David Strang was HM chief inspector of prisons for Scotland until last month and was previously chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police.
NHS Tayside Chairman John Brown announced the appointment of David Strang as the Chair to the Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services in NHS Tayside on Tuesday.
NHS Tayside announced an independent inquiry into mental health services in May after a campaign by families who said at least 10 suicides could have been prevented had better help been given at the Carseview mental health unit.
Mr Strang was appointed after a recommendation by the inquiry’s Stakeholder’s Participation Group, who met all the candidates for chair.
NHS Tayside Chairman John Brown said: “I am very pleased that David has accepted the role of chair of the independent inquiry.
“He has a wealth of experience that he will bring to the review and his appointment will assure not only the Board of NHS Tayside, but importantly all our stakeholders, that the inquiry will be open, honest, transparent and run with absolute integrity.
“We have taken the time to set up the independent inquiry with the full involvement of patients and families and it is thanks to them that we have made the appointment of the chair.
“Under the expert guidance of the ALLIANCE, who are driving and supporting public engagement in the inquiry, our patients, service users, families and third sector and charity colleagues have been able to play a critical role already.
“It is so important that the chair of the inquiry has the support and confidence of all our stakeholders and therefore I am grateful to everyone who has played their part in getting us to this point.”
Mr Brown added that evidence from patients and families will be crucial to the inquiry.
There have been calls to shut down the Carseview Centre after complaints from patients who claimed illegal drugs were readily available in the unit and that patients were bullied and subjected to face-down restraints.
Mr Brown said: “I have been very clear from the beginning that patients and families must have a strong voice and help shape what the inquiry will be looking at and I believe we are actively demonstrating our commitment to this.”