THE boss of NHS Tayside has apologised to patients and their families after a damning report on mental health care in the area made 51 recommendations for change.

Chief executive Grant Archibald pledged to take on board all the findings of the independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside, which was set up in 2018 after families raised concerns about the care their loved ones had received.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: "I am absolutely sorry and I apologise to anyone whose relative, or they themselves, feel that the care they got was well short of what they should have expected."

The report revealed patients who talked about suicide reported being told to "get a grip" and "pull yourself together" by staff.

The inquiry, led by former prison inspector David Strang, highlighted a "breakdown of trust in many aspects of the provision of mental health services in Tayside".

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The health board needs a strategy to deliver a "radical transformational redesign of mental health services", the report said.

Evidence to the inquiry, which heard from more than 1,500 patients, their relatives, staff and other organisations, showed services consistently failed to meet guidelines for care.

The report said: "In addition to concerns raised by patients, families and carers, there was also a real concern amongst clinicians working in the services that the lack of strategic analysis of community mental health services in Tayside over many years had generated an increased risk to patients' lives."

The report recommended the board must "develop a new culture of working in Tayside built on collaboration, trust and respect".

It told how patients often reported feeling "they were not treated with dignity and kindness", and some staff members were "very judgemental".

Review meetings, the report said, left patients and their families concluding that the health board "was trying to rewrite history in a way that would show them in a more favourable light".

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It added: "There is a real danger of a perception that NHS Tayside is more interested in protecting its reputation than looking after the interests of its patients."

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The Carseview Centre in Dundee, which provides inpatient care, was described as "feeling bleak" by patients, while a third sector body branded it a "wasteland environment".

The report found "numerous examples of well-developed policies which are not followed in practice".

It also highlighted problems with staff, saying the "shortage of consultant psychiatrists has undermined patients' belief that NHS Tayside are able to deliver the treatment and care they require".

Those working for the health board spoke about "experiencing a culture of fear and blame", with employees complaining they "do not feel that they are listened to or their views seriously sought and respected".

Archibald pledged the health board would now work to rebuild trust with both staff and patients.

"Our intention always has been, always will be, is to deliver excellent care," he said.

"This report tells us that despite people's efforts things have not happened in that way. And we must listen to it, we must learn from it.

"We will redesign, we will rebuild. We will listen to the users, the people who use our services and build that trust with them.

"We absolutely will listen and work alongside our very hard working staff."

Mental health minister Clare Haughey said the Scottish Government has already put in place a package of support as part of efforts to improve mental health care in the area.

She said ministers will monitor NHS Tayside and "continue to seek assurance that the required improvements are being implemented".

She said: "In order to establish a national approach to the quality and safety of mental health services and ensure that the themes and concerns identified within the Tayside independent inquiry are not present elsewhere in Scotland, the first meeting of the new Quality and Safety Board will be held later this month.

"I am looking forward to chairing this meeting, which Dr Strang will be attending. This will act as an appropriate platform to share the learning from the report with other partners."