Mulberry Unit member of staff ‘angry’ at interim closure of facility

Mulberry Unit is based at Susan Carnegie Centre
Mulberry Unit is based at Susan Carnegie Centre

A member of staff at the Mulberry Unit has expressed “anger” at the temporary closure of the Angus mental health facility.

The person, who did not want to be named, said they were “angry” and also questioned whether the interim closure would become permanent.

NHS Tayside announced yesterday (Thursday) that it would be implementing a contingency plan to deal with staff shortages and that this would take effect from February 1.

According to NHS Tayside, just over half of the required doctors would be available in mental health services next month, 18.6 whole-time equivalent junior doctors from a requirement of 31, an unsustainable number across three sites at the Mulberry Unit, Carseview, and the Moredun ward in Perth.

They cited a national shortage of trainee psychiatrists and changes to numbers of junior doctors available to the health authority.

NHS Tayside Medical Director Professor Andrew Russell yesterday confirmed that services at the Mulberry Unit, based at the Susan Carnegie Centre at Stracathro Hospital, would see an interim move to Carseview in Dundee as of February 1.

However, the staff member told us: “I had a phone call to say it will be closing at the end of the month.

“They are saying it is just temporary because there is a lack of junior doctors but, in my opinion, you can’t believe that as far as you can throw it.

“It’s pretty pathetic and I believe they have stitched us up.

“I’m not losing my job but it will mean travelling.

“Everybody is getting moved to Carseview.

“I do not believe they are going to move everybody out and then move them back in again.

“I also believe this will have been decided long before Christmas. It will have all been done and dusted.

“It’s sad but that is the world we live in.

“They say that we, the NHS staff, are the people that matter.

“Nicola Sturgeon has said that NHS staff are worthwhile.”

Professor Russell said mental health services will continue to be provided from the Susan Carnegie Centre as this interim move does not affect the Rowan and Willow wards, which care for up to 30 Psychiatry of Old Age patients.