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EXCLUSIVE: Murray Royal Hospital deaths investigated

Tracy Swan with a picture of her daughter Jodie McNab.
Tracy Swan with a picture of her daughter Jodie McNab.

A probe has been launched into a series of patient deaths at Murray Royal Hospital.

The procurator fiscal is investigating three instances where those undergoing treatment at the psychiatric hospital died in its care.

It is understood that all the deaths involved the suicide of patients being treated in the secure Moredun ward.

Jodie McNab spent five days on life support prior to her death May 22 2013. The 22-year-old had been admitted to Murray Royal just nine days before she died.

Her mother Tracy Swan set up the Lighthouse for Perth charity in the wake of her loss. She hopes she will finally get the answers she seeks in relation to Jodie’s death.

“It shouldn’t have happened,” she said. “I put her in there because it was a place of safety and it wasn’t in the end.

“I’m not happy with where we are at right now and I am looking for answers.  Going by my experience with them and my daughter I believe there’s a lot of questions needing answered.

“Obviously they haven’t learnt after Jodie’s death for there to be another two afterwards.”

Murray Royal Hospital, Muirhall Road, Perth.

She said she hoped the investigation would lead to a fatal accident inquiry.

“Getting the answers would help me,” she said. “I really hope the investigation means that this won’t happen to another family, because it’s the worst possible thing that could happen to any family.

“You put them in there to be safe and for something to happen is beyond all comprehension.”

Tracy lives with her husband Tommy in a house that overlooks the grounds of the hospital. They bought their home just a few weeks before Jodie was admitted.

She said: “Now we look on to the part of the hospital where Jodie died. Sometimes it’s a comfort because you feel she was just there but the majority of times you see the building and you just get so angry.

“If we’d known Jodie was going to end up there and this was going to be the result, we would never have moved here.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service confirmed they had launched an investigation, but declined to confirm the nature of the deaths.

He said: “An investigation into the circumstances of three deaths at Murray Royal Hospital Perth, between May 22 2013 and November 4 2015, is currently ongoing.

“Families will continue to be updated in relation to any developments.”

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said: “As this is a legal matter, it would not be appropriate for us to comment.”

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