Mental health organisations have accused NHS Tayside of “misrepresenting” their support for the new Living Life Well strategy to improve services across the region.
The health board launched the programme on Thursday, saying there was widespread support for the initiative.
Living Life Well was developed in response to last year’s damning independent inquiry report into NHS Tayside’s mental health services.
NHS Tayside issued statements which included positive messages from members of the Stakeholder Participation Group (SPG) regarding the initiative and participation of those with lived experiences and in third-sector organisations.
However nine of the 12 SPGs involved in the talks have accused the health board of misrepresenting their views.
Susan Scott, development manager at mental health charity Plus Perth, spoke on behalf of the nine complainants.
She said: “The SPG feel the NHS press release misrepresents the extent to which the views of patients and their families have been taken into account in the formulation of the strategy.
“It reads as though all parties, including the SPG, endorse the strategy and feel we were heard and valued during the consultation process.
“Sadly, this has not been the case.”
Susan, who has worked in the sector for around 40 years, said the continued emphasis on quantity over quality of service did not meet needs in a balanced way.
She said: “The SPG seek evidence that the aspirations of the strategy will be implemented into services for mental health and learning disability experienced by patients and their families.
“Living Life Well is a plan in evolution- it is not an action.
“Nothing we see has happened, in fact most of us see tragedies still occurring.
“These tragedies affecting citizens in Tayside are ongoing in spite of NHS Tayside spending more on mental health services per capita than any other health board.
“Yet NHS Tayside is one of the lowest spenders on community mental health.
“Until we see meaningful change we cannot endorse it.”
In 2018 an independent inquiry was held after concerns were raised about the state of mental health services in Tayside at the Scottish Parliament.
On the back of this inquiry, a report by Dr David Strang was published in February 2020 which made 51 different recommendations on “significant” changes that needed to be made to mental health services in Tayside.
Plus Perth is currently conducting its own mental health survey until April 11 asking people to give feedback on their own personal experiences.
The survey, available at www.plusperth.co.uk, will assist Dr Strang’s summations in April.
NHS Tayside said they were committed to developing and designing services using the expertise of all stakeholders.
A spokesperson for the health board said: “Living Life Well, the new Tayside-wide strategy to improve mental health and learning disability services has been developed following a programme of work with more than 600 local stakeholders, including people with lived experience, their families and carers along with voluntary and third sector organisations, NHS Tayside staff, local authorities and Police Scotland.
“Right from an early stage stakeholders have been pivotal in the development and delivery of the strategy and we are very grateful to all those people across Tayside who have worked with us to co-create and co-produce this strategy.”