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Speciality: Old Age Psychiatry

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/863

The Higher Training Programme for Old Age Psychiatry in Scotland became a National programme in August 2017 and is hosted by the North of Scotland Deanery Region. This ensures continued consistently high standards of training in this specialty across Scotland.

Successful trainees will be able to express a preference to train in one of the four NHS Education for Scotland (NES) regions in Scotland depending upon ranking at interview.

Training is based around the Royal College of Psychiatrist's national Old Age Psychiatry Curriculum. Trainees are expected to use the online e-portfolio to evidence their achievement of competencies. This portfolio forms the basis of the ARCP process, which takes place annually. There is a national ARCP process established for Old Age Psychiatry. Desktop ARCPs will be held in the central region of Scotland, face to face interviews can be conducted via videoconferencing for trainees in the North and East region.

 This programme offers excellent and varied training opportunities to work in several clinical settings in Older Age Psychiatry in the following regions:

  1. West of Scotland (NES base, Glasgow)
  2. South-East Scotland (NES base, Edinburgh)
  3. North of Scotland (NES base, Aberdeen)
  4. East of Scotland (NES base, Dundee)

All of the training will take place in the base region in a variety of both inpatient and outpatient areas in both urban and rural settings. Trainees remain within one of the 4 regions unless they request an intra-regional transfer according to Deanery criteria.

Posts are allocated in discussion with the Training Programme Director and Local Programme Leads, taking into account individual training needs/interests (Core training locations, previous experience and developmental needs), the requirement to gain a broad breadth of experience as per curriculum requirements and available posts. Trainees may, if requested, also undertake placements in General Adult Psychiatry or Old Age Liaison Psychiatry. ST6s can also undertake Acting Consultant posts if available ideally in the last three months of training depending on previous successful ARCP’s.

In OA Psychiatry ST4-6s usually join the General Psychiatry on-call rota in their training location alongside colleagues from the other Psychiatry specialties. In certain areas, this may also include CAMHS.

 As part of your training, you are entitled to one Special Interest session (one half day) each week. In some areas, these sessions can be ‘banked’ and taken as a block, dependent on choice of interest session and agreement of local services. Opportunities such as palliative care, geriatric medicine, movement disorder clinics, ECT, HBCC and general adult specialities are available in most regions. There is also a specialist ward for behaviour which challenges within the North Region and within the East there is a Cognitive Neuroscience clinic.

You will also get one session to use for Research: discussed more fully below

Trainees should also have an hour of weekly Psychiatric Supervision. Study Leave is supported, each trainee has a study budget which they claim directly via the TPD. The programme has three national trainee’s days which are hosted across the country. Flexible training applications will be considered.

There is also one Dual Training placement with General Adult available in the North region.

There are Local Programme Leads in each Region; 

- NORTH - 

  • Dr Adele Onder – Royal Cornhill Hospital, 01224 557507 (secretary Kathryn Stephen) Email:

- EAST -

  • Dr Ashleigh Duthie- Susan Carnegie Centre, Stracathro Hospital, Brechin, Angus. DD9 7QA.  01356 692808. (secretary Amy Jamieson) Email:        


- WEST -

Dr Damian Lynch- Consultant Psychiatrist for Older People 4th Floor Hunter Health  Centre East Kilbride G74 1AD  Laura Brassington  01355 597 453

 Dr Christopher Haxton, Goldenhill Resource Centre, 199 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank, G81 4XJ - 0141 941 4444

Secretary Fiona McCowat

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

All trainees are expected to be involved in both Research and Audit/clinical governance/service development throughout their ST4-6 training.  It is expected that Trainees will complete at least one audit or be involved in a quality improvement project and be able to evidence participation in research for their ARCP for each training year.

Trainees are allocated one research slot per week.  In certain areas, this can be “banked” and utilised in a block depending on the project and discussions with your Research and Clinical supervisors. Most areas have a dementia research network, which allows trainees the opportunity to become involved in drug trials. There is a Clinical Research Facility in both Glasgow and Dundee which also offers the opportunity for trainees to become involved in other areas of research, such as Huntington Disease. Within the south-east region, there is close links with the University of Edinburgh and with the Centre for Dementia Prevention.

Teaching opportunities vary in each region but trainees are involved in local MRCPsych teaching programmes for core trainees as well as undergraduate teaching in the associated universities. There is also a national Old Age Psychiatry teaching programme which meets throughout the year. Within the North region, it is possible to gain honorary associate status from the University of Aberdeen.

There are a variety of management opportunities across each region, including involvement in clinical governance and working with medical managers. There is also the opportunity to take part in a number of patient safety and improvement programmes.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

WEST – cover four health boards- GGC, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran and Forth Valley.

Dykebar Hospital, Paisley: Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley: The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow: Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow: University Hospital, Wishaw:Hairmyres hospital Leverndale Hospital, Glasgow: Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow: Stirling Royal Infirmary, Stirling: University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire:


Herdmanflatt Hospital, Haddington: Royal Edinburgh Hospital: St Johns Hospital, Livingston: Borders General Hospital, Melrose:


Murray Royal Hospital, Perth: Perth Royal Infirmary: Ninewells Hospital, Dundee: Stracathro Hospital, Angus: Royal Victoria Hospital, Dundee:


Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen: Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin: Newcraigs Hospital, Inverness:

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Dr Nitin Gambhir
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Greg Jones
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval February 2017
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Royal College of Psychiatrists (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Lynda Service
Address: NHS Education, Forest Grove House, Aberdeen
Tel: 01224 805132
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Rekha Hegde
Address: University Hospital Hairmyres, Eaglesham Road, East Kilbride, G75 8RG Tel: Secretary Jillian Oakley 01698 366 520
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