Mulberry Unit: Fight “nowhere near over”

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Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Evans has said the fight for the Mulberry Unit is “nowhere near over”.

Commenting on the news of the unit’s interim closure, said: “I am shocked and angry at the announcement that the Mulberry Unit is to close. While I completely understand that patient safety has to come first and that this could no longer be guaranteed with the shortage of junior doctors, what I don’t understand is how the decision was reached to close this unit - though this has been described as ‘temporary’. I have contacted the Chief Executive of NHS Tayside urgently to find out what the process and basis was that led to this decision, particularly why the Mulberry Unit over the other units at Carseview in Dundee and the Moredun in Perth.

“Last year I put forward a motion at Angus Council asking that the Council support the retention of the Mulberry unit because the report put forward to the health board at that time was heavily skewed towards closing it and was based on no financial information and poor consultation. It was because of this poor report and lack of consultation that another consultation was launched, and the options from this were then to go out to a fuller consultation due to start over the coming months.

“That’s why for the Mulberry unit to close now, before that consultation has taken place, is so galling. The two situations are apparently unrelated but this will no doubt fuel fears for the longer term future of the unit. The most frustrating thing is that this should have been foreseen by NHS Tayside as doctor shortages in this area were no surprise.

“The overriding concern right now is for the patients, carers, families and staff in Angus and how the impact on them, of this decision, will be mitigated. There is absolutely no way that people in Angus should expect a lower level of care or provision than anywhere else and plans for that need to come forward urgently. As far as I’m concerned the fight for the Mulberry Unit is nowhere near over yet.”