A SEXUAL abuse victim was wrongly refused NHS accommodation and made to pay for his own lodgings while undergoing psychological therapy, a watchdog has ruled.

Peter Todd, 37, was falsely told Kyle Court Patient Lodge in Inverness was fully booked on a string of dates in June, July and August 2018 when he was due to attend weekly appointments at New Craig Psychiatric Hospital.

NHS Highland was expected to provide Mr Todd with overnight accommodation because he was travelling from his home in Thurso - a 17-hour, 250-mile round trip.

Instead, Mr Todd was told to book into local B&Bs and claim back the expenses, but he is yet to be reimbursed.

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He was subsequently told that the real reason they could not provide a place was because other residents had complained about him during a previous stay, claiming he had "been running up and down the stairs during the evening and night; shouting; and kicking and banging doors".

When the SPSO investigated, however, NHS Highland was unable produce any documentary evidence of complaints.

They said the patients had not wanted to put anything in writing, but the SPSO noted that they had also failed to inform Mr Todd of any complaints about his behaviour at the time.

In its provisional report on the case, the SPSO said this had been "unreasonable" to Mr Todd.

The watchdog said it was also "not appropriate" that NHS Highland had allowed the Mental Health Service Manager to investigate when Mr Todd complained about the situation, given that "he was one of the staff from the service who were the subject of [Mr Todd's] complaint".

Mr Todd was abused as a teenager at a residential school in England linked to the paedophile MP, Cyril Smith, and gave evidence earlier this year into a child abuse inquiry in England.

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When he finally sought counselling for the trauma, he had to wait five years for psychological treatment due to staffing shortages in NHS Highland.

He spoke out about the delays and his case was taken up by MPs.

However, Mr Todd now believes he was consequently seen as a troublemaker and that his accommodation at Kyle Court was withdrawn “as a form of psychological punishment because I have spoken out about the shambolic state of mental health provision in Caithness”.

NHS Highland's leadership was overhauled last year following claims by clinicians of bullying and intimidation.

An independent review by John Sturrock QC said many staff had suffered "serious harm and trauma".

Mr Todd, who stressed his frustration is with managers not doctors, added: “Where do patients go to if they get bullied? I go to their complaints department and a person investigates the complaint when he’s implicated.

"That just shows how fundamentally flawed the complaints system is. It’s designed to bury people's concerns.

“I’ve had to go through psychological bullying while getting psychological treatment for bullying and abuse.”

A spokesman for NHS Highland said they were unable to comment.

He said: “Prior to an SPSO report being finalised health boards are invited to provide additional information which might inform the outcome. NHS Highland is not permitted to comment at this draft stage.”