Bed and staff shortages have forced the early retirement from the health service of Scotland’s British Medical Association chairman.
Peter Bennie, a consultant psychiatrist, said one of the reasons he is quitting at 55 is there are not enough people to provide the service medics want to see.
Tayside and Fife are among the health boards which have endured bed and staffing shortages, including low capacity at Ninewells’ intensive care unit and a national dearth of radiologists.
The intervention by the senior psychiatrist, who is also stepping down as head of the BMA in Scotland after four years, will make difficult reading for Nicola Sturgeon, who has pledged to improve how people with mental health problems are treated.
It comes ahead of the launch of an inquiry into mental health services in Tayside. Families of suicides victims have criticised care standards at Carseview Centre in Dundee.
Dr Bennie, who is based in Paisley, told The Times: “My own experience, when I am finishing a clinical day, is running over in my head the things I have not been able to do because there is not enough people to do the job as well as we would want to.”
Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Lib Dem MSP, said: “Dr Bennie has shone light on some of the harsh realities of an underfunded NHS.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said ministers value the consultant’s contribution to the NHS and take his concerns seriously.
She added: “We are working to tackle these issues and that is why we are investing in NHS funding to deliver record high levels, and we continue to push the UK Government to deliver a net benefit to Scotland’s budget following their recent NHS funding announcement.”