A North East MSP has called for clarity on the future of the Mulberry Unit at Stracathro Hospital.
Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr raised the issue in parliament this week – ten days after NHS Tayside took the decision to temporarily close the mental health facility.
The health board is facing a junior doctor staffing crisis, with only 18 full-time junior doctors are available and a requirement for 31. For the time being, general inpatient services have been transferred in Dundee at the Carseview Centre.
Mr Kerr spoke at parliament following reports that a young man from Monifieth is campaigning for improved mental health services in the area.
Mr Kerr said: “I wanted to raise this issue in parliament as there is a danger after the initial press reports about the closure of the unit that it then falls off the radar.
“I want NHS Tayside to be in no doubt about the strength of feeling locally on this issue.
“If the Mulberry Unit closes permanently, then there will be no adult psychiatric admissions ward in the whole of Angus.
“Reading the story of Ben Lawrie from Monifieth brings home the human impact of these cutbacks. I sympathise with the health board to some extent as there is clearly a staffing shortage for this particular area.
“However, the whole region is suffering due to a lack of resources and the Scottish Government must take responsibility for poor workforce planning.
“The SNP has been in charge of health services in Scotland for the last ten years, so can have no-one else to blame for the problems we are now seeing in areas like Angus.
“I will continue to raise the future of the Mulberry Unit with the Health Secretary at Holyrood in an effort to protect this vital local service.”