Wednesday, 10 June 2015

'Under-10s stricken by stress and depression' - no data for Fife - Playfield Institute, Stratheden Hospital

An Email sent this morning to Jim Hume MSP, copied in to Roderick Campbell MSP, Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish LibDems and local NE Fife lad, former pupil of Bell Baxter High, Cupar.  Also NHS Fife senior managers, including Playfield Institute high heid yins, and senior civil servants:

Strapline: 'Under-10s stricken by stress and depression' - what about the health boards who don't have the data? - Playfield Institute, Stratheden Hospital, Fife

"Dear Mr Hume

I am writing to you about the Scotsman piece on 6 June 2015 'Under-10s stricken by stress and depression'.  In which you are quoted and your photo centre stage. 

I was concerned but not surprised to see these figures.  Recently at a Carers' conference in Dundee I was sitting at a table with a young carer and paid workers from the Dundee Carers Centre.  The young carer spoke of being prescribed antidepressants when aged 12.  One of the workers said that approximately one third of secondary school pupils in Dundee were on antidepressants.  This worker had previously been with the Aberlour Childcare Trust in a post for many years.  I assumed that his comments about young people were based on experience and had some accuracy.

I was pleased to hear you in the newspaper article again call for Parity of Esteem between mental and physical health services: “It is long past time that the Scottish Government started taking mental ill health seriously, starting by putting equality between physical and mental health services in law.”.  I have heard you speak out about this in Scottish Parliament and about other mental health matters, making sense.

What particularly stood out for me in the piece was this quote:

"Health boards in Tayside, Orkney, Lothian, Fife, Forth Valley and Western Isles did not have the specific data available or said it would cost too much to find the answers."

I live in Fife and have family members living in Tayside.  The fact these health board areas do not have the details about children accessing health services for "stress, anxiety and depression" is very concerning.  I am not reassured by the quote from Jamie Hepburn MSP that “We are committed to ensuring that children and young people, of any age, get access to high quality mental health services.”.  A statement of intent with no evidence to back it up whatsoever.  

I am wondering why Fife does not have the details?  The Playfield Institute (a resource for anyone working with or caring for children and young people) is based at Stratheden Hospital, Fife, and was set up in 2005: "The Playfield Institute, at Stratheden Hospital, Cupar, will help NHS Fife, Fife Council and the voluntary sector improve mental health services for children and teenagers." from this article:

And from their website:

"Playfield Institute was set up in 2005 by NHS Fife in direct response to the recommendations made by the Scottish Needs Assessment Programme (SNAP) Report of Children and Young People's Mental Health (2003). The report indicated that many people working with children and young people needed further training and support when dealing with mental health issues."

Fife has a resource which claims to train CAMHS workers yet they don't have the details about children receiving treatment for mental health issues.  How daft is that?  In my opinion it demonstrates bad management of resources, a lack of transparency and accountability.

I am copying my MSP Rod Campbell into this Email and Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish LibDems, a local lad who went to Bell Baxter High, Cupar, same as my boys.  Also senior managers at NHS Fife, including Playfield Institute staff, and senior civil servants at Scottish Government.

I'm an unwaged carer, pensioner and voluntary mental health activist.  I get right fed up with having to keep reminding NHS Fife highly paid managers how to do their job and personally having to pick the pieces up after traumatic and dehumanising psychiatric treatment.  It is way beyond time that public servants were held accountable for their actions or lack of.

Yours sincerely,

Chrys Muirhead (Mrs)"

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