MENTAL health units in Scotland are racking up an injury every hour among patients, staff and visitors, figures reveal.

Over the past three years, psychiatric facilities recorded an average of 24 incidents a day. These ranged from assaults and accidents such as falls and trips, to substance abuse and issues with absconding and patient transport.

Instances involving burns, hazardous liquids and infection control also occurred.

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The number of incidents in 2017/18 - 8519 in total - were the lowest in the three-year period. In 2015/16 there were 8721 injuries and in 2016/17 there were 9101.

Scotland’s largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, noted the most incidents last year (3232) followed by NHS Lothian (1679) and NHS Grampian (1335).

The figures were obtained under freedom of information by the Scottish Conservatives.

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It comes after an investigation by BBC Scotland reported that patients at the Carseview Centre in Dundee had been violently and repeatedly pinned to the floor over the past five years.

NHS Tayside has already commissioned an independent inquiry into its mental health services.

Scottish Conservative mental health spokeswoman Annie Wells said the statistics should help renew focus on improving mental health care in Scotland to create a better environment for vulnerable patients and healthcare workers.

She said: “Everyone accepts that mental health wards can be extremely challenging both for patients and staff and, as such, incidents involving injury are bound to occur.

“But at the same time, more clearly needs to be done to reduce the thousands which occur each year."

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Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “It is welcome that the number of injuries has fallen and we are absolutely clear that everyone should be able to feel safe whilst receiving treatment or working in our mental health services.

"As we work to further improve our mental health services the experience of patients, their families and staff are key to reshaping treatment and support.”