Why have The ‘Independent’ Inquiry and BBC Scotland told us nothing about the treatment of patients in NHS Tayside Mental Health Services?


Why? Because it’s what they do with any media-induced scare story on NHS Scotland. See this from only two weeks ago:

BBC Scotland misreport deeply flawed research based on tiny (1.77%) self-selecting sample by novice researcher which provides NO evidence of a ‘bullying culture’ in NHS Highland

THIS latest interim report on NHS Tayside, published yesterday has been headlined all day in BBC Scotland broadcasts in dramatic terms with claims of the abuse of ‘patients.’ The 22-page interim report, however, is essentially a padded-for-impressions account of generic anecdotal comments with no real statistical substance that could be used to inform the public. The investigation has no methodology. There are no research questions. There is no sampling technique. There are no criteria for evaluating the results. There is no apparent mechanism for checking the accuracy of any comment made by any patient, relative or staff member. Remarkably, the report claims to have engaged with more than one thousand individuals but there is no sign of the University of Dundee and its Professor Stonebridge who has written in the media defending the service.

Critically we do not hear how many patients have complained or have had complaints made on their behalf nor do we hear how many patients have been treated in the same time period and, consequently, what percentage the first group represents. Reporting Scotland are able to present only one case. So, we do not know how representative complaints are of the system as a whole and thus we do not know if there is a level of problems typical of such institutions which might be dealt with locally or whether there is a level suggesting a wider problem that you might describe as a crisis.

This is important because if we do not know the answers to these fundamental questions then reporting of the kind we have seen on BBC Scotland, will not serve the public interest and may actually cause damage to the system being reported on.

Some earlier media reports on complaints made on behalf of patients at The Carseview Centre clearly related to only one or two out of the hundreds treated there and cannot be used as reliable evidence of wider practice there.

Neither the Independent Inquiry not the BBC report considered the expert opinion of Professor Stonebridge of the University of Dundee who asserts that there is no special problem in NHS Tayside. See:

prof denies

NHS Tayside has claimed rates of violence and restraint in its mental health services are not excessive compared with other health boards, after an internal report claimed patients in Dundee had been pinned to the floor for too long and in a dangerous position.’

The professor does not fit the agenda here. The ‘Independent Inquiry’ report is available here:




4 thoughts on “Why have The ‘Independent’ Inquiry and BBC Scotland told us nothing about the treatment of patients in NHS Tayside Mental Health Services?

  1. tcrosbie20 May 23, 2019 / 7:42 am

    This is just amateurish reporting or is it ? My thoughts are, it is exactly the agenda of the BBC. Make up shit as long as it has an SNP bad slant. People are forced through the threat of prosecution for this shite, sorry for the use of that word, but that is exactly what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry May 23, 2019 / 4:44 pm

    Meanwhile Scotland (under an SNP Govt intent on doing the Day Job) is up amongst the European lead nations in terms of employing community alternatives to imprisonment schemes. Link and snippets from a wee piece on the Scottish Legal site below:


    The number of people in Europe subject to community sanctions and measures (CSM) – usually known as alternatives to imprisonment – under the supervision of probation agencies is increasing, according to the Council of Europe annual SPACE II survey, whilst at the same time the prison population is falling.

    The survey, which contains data on probationers serving different kinds of CSM, such as electronic monitoring, community service, home arrest, treatments, as well as persons in semi-liberty or conditional release, will be presented at the Council of Europe Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services, which is being held today and tomorrow in Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

    In 2018, the median rate of probationers per 100,000 population across Europe was 169; the figure for England and Wales was 317 and in Scotland it was 411 – again, the third highest figure reported across Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ludo Thierry May 24, 2019 / 7:37 am

    Hi John – I think so – trying to keep people out of prison is generally viewed as a ‘good thing’ (contingent on the nature of the offence for which they have been convicted). If the convicted person can be found useful work in the community whilst continuing to live and work in their communities and support their families etc that seems a useful endeavour – especially if they are ‘paying back’ their communities with useful community works and supports (and maybe gaining useful skills and qualifications to help themselves into the workforce once their sentences are spent).


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