THE grounds of Stratheden Hospital have been dubbed ‘the land that time forgot’ by a mental health campaigner who says they’re littered with rubbish, alcohol bottles and cigarette butts.
Chrys Muirhead of Peer Support Fife has written to general manager Bob McLean expressing her dismay at the state of the site, which she says is ‘detrimental to patient care’.
She sent him photographs she had taken that showed mounds of cigarette butts under a bench outside the intensive psychiatric care unit; former toilets lying derelict and a ‘rubbish dump’ in full view of passers-by.
She also says that the unit has no bell and no lighting at the entrance - improvements that were promised months ago.
Ms Muirhead said: “There may be limited resources for Stratheden Hospital but there should, at the very least, be a commitment to keeping the grounds tidy and even welcoming.
“This could be done by putting tubs of flowers and planting out some flower beds.
“But first there would need to be a major tidy up, making efforts to rid the grounds of cigarette butts.
“The nurses could lead the way by example and the patients encouraged to put their butts in a bin so that patients, nurses and other workers can take pride in the hospital.
“Otherwise it looks like everyone has given up. This will hinder recovery and affect staff morale.”
Jim Leiper, director of estates, facilities, and capital services for NHS Fife, said: “The litter around some of the benches in the grounds of Stratheden Hospital highlighted to NHS Fife by a member of the public has already been acted upon and the litter cleared up.
“The extensive hospital grounds are generally kept in good order and recent work in the grounds has made some local improvements in garden areas for patients.
“The waste yard that was photographed is located within the grounds and is an enclosed area that has wall surrounding it with a locked gate. It is not a recreation area.
“The waste yard was untidy but this has now been sorted and it is now in an acceptable condition.
“An enclosed skip will replace the open skips which will help improve the condition of the yard.”