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Sturgeon urged to save failing mental health services at NHS Tayside

NICOLA STURGEON was pressed to intervene and save failing mental health services at a Scottish health board today after the publication of a damning report earlier this week.

At First Minister’s Questions, the SNP leader was pushed to commit to a swathe of measures at NHS Tayside. 

The independent inquiry into mental health services in the region found a culture of “fear and blame,” with more than 50 suggestions made about how to make improvements. 

Scotland’s Labour leader Richard Leonard asked Ms Sturgeon whether her government would step in at the health board and put in place “special measures” to ensure implementation of the recommendations. 

He said: “NHS Tayside has a history of evading scrutiny, deflecting criticism and resisting change. 

“They have repeatedly ignored recommendations from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission.

“Will you today instruct your Cabinet Secretary to re-escalate NHS Tayside’s mental health services so that your government steps in to drive the transformation of mental health services in Tayside?

“First Minister, will you do the right thing?”

Ms Sturgeon said she offered her apologies to all families who had been let down by the NHS. 

She added: “The Scottish government will continue to take the action that is already under way and we will consider all suggestions.

“We will continue to monitor the progress of NHS Tayside through the Tayside Oversight Group, which is a vital part of the picture here.

“As I said, the Mental Health Minister will keep Parliament updated and we have proactively asked [author] David Strang to review this after a year and to provide an update into the progress that has been made.”

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