NHS Education for Scotland Logo

Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/865

The nationally coordinated ST4-6 Training Programme for Intellectual Disability Psychiatry in Scotland began in February 2015 and is hosted by the North of Scotland Deanery Region.

The establishment of this programme ensures a continued consistently high standard of training in this specialty of Psychiatry across Scotland.

A Scottish National ID Psychiatry Training Committee is established as is a national ARCP process.

Successful trainees will be able to express a preference to train in one of the four Deanery regions in Scotland depending upon ranking at interview.

The majority of the training will take place in the base Deanery Region. There could though be opportunities to work in other Deanery regions if relevant to training.

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

  1. West of Scotland (Deanery base, Glasgow)
  2. South-East Scotland (Deanery base, Edinburgh)
  3. North of Scotland (Deanery base, Aberdeen - host Deanery region for this programme)
  4. East of Scotland (Deanery base, Dundee)

ID Psychiatry ST4-6s usually join the General Psychiatry on-call rota in their training location alongside colleagues from the other Psychiatry specialties.

One Research session and one Special Interest session are timetabled each week as is an hour of weekly Clinical Supervision. Study Leave is supported and flexible training applications will be considered.

Please contact Dr Qudrat Ullah (, the National ID Psychiatry TPD for Scotland, for further information.

Specialty Information

As mentioned ST4-6’s will be based in one of the 4 Deanery Regions across Scotland.    

There are 13 NTNs in ID Psychiatry, usually allocated as follows-7 (West, incl. 2 dual training CAMHS-ID posts), 4 (South-East), 1 (East) and 1 (North).

The programme offers excellent training opportunities to work in a variety of well developed clinical services in Intellectual Disability Psychiatry across the country.

The programme is underpinned by a continuing commitment to training, supervision and educational development. The emphasis is on developing the appropriate capabilities to take on the role of a Consultant Intellectual Disability Psychiatrist. It is anticipated that the final year of the scheme will place particular emphasis on this task.

Clinical and Educational Supervisors in ST4-6 ID Psychiatry in Scotland are enthusiastic and committed to training. Trainees should expect to receive excellent support and supervision throughout their training.

Trainees should expect to rotate through a number of training posts mainly within their base Deanery region. Posts are allocated in discussion with the Training Programme Director and Educational Supervisor taking into account individual training needs/interests and the requirement to gain a broad breadth of experience as per curriculum requirements.

Training needs will be kept under review at the 6 monthly meetings between trainees and Educational Supervisor. The Educational Supervisor will meet the trainee at the start of training year, mid-point and before the annual ARCP. Prior to the annual rotation date trainees should discuss their next placement with their Educational Supervisor. Trainees may wish to contact a Clinical Supervisor to find out more about specific aspects of a particular post. This enquiry will however not constitute an agreement with a particular trainer regarding placement.


A rotation example as per RCPsych silver guide:


The trainee will spend a recommended two years of full-time (or WTE) training in specialist services (community and inpatient) for adults with learning (intellectual) disability. The final 12 months of training may encompass additional clinical experience to consolidate and develop specialist skills according to the specific needs and interests of each trainee.


There is the option of spending up to 12 months of training in specialist services for children and adolescents with intellectual disability.


Other specialist placements could include:


  • Forensic Learning disability psychiatry
  • General psychiatry including facilitating access to mainstream services for people with learning (intellectual) disability
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders across the full IQ spectrum


TPDs have the final authority regarding placements.

Specialist placements in ST6 are encouraged for instance for 3 months at the Mental Welfare Commission. ST6s are also encouraged to undertake Acting Consultant posts if available.

One Special Interest session is allocated per week. A variety of Special Interest sessions are also available including Clinical Genetics, Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Epilepsy, Autism and Liaison work - amongst others. With planning, these sessions can be ‘banked’ and taken as a block.

Please contact Dr Qudrat Ullah (, the National ID Psychiatry TPD for Scotland, for further information.



Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Opportunities exist in each of the 4 Deanery regions across Scotland to undertake such work which is strongly encouraged.

Trainees receive 1 session per week for this. As with Special Interest sessions, if planned prospectively, these can be banked and taken as a block if appropriate.


In the West of Scotland Deanery Region there are strong links with the University of Glasgow and a strong academic ethos is evident throughout the programme. The Glasgow University Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) is one of the major centres in research in this area in the UK and is networked internationally. Trainees should expect to become actively involved in teaching, research and audit. Trainees will become part of a research group which meets regularly. This is supervised by Prof SA Cooper.

There is an established LD ST4-6 Academic Programme with meetings held monthly on a Wednesday morning. The Programme is organised by the higher trainees and is made up of case presentations, invited speakers and research topics. There is an established West of Scotland Learning Disability Psychiatry CPD programme which meets monthly and is open to all medical staff working in LD in the region. Local services also run their own teaching programmes, journal clubs and audit meetings.

Both in the North and East of Scotland Deanery regions trainees will have good links with their respective academic departments and there is a strong research record especially in forensic learning disability. Established higher trainee academic programmes are also available for the trainees offering the opportunity to share experience with higher trainees from other psychiatric specialties.

Additionally there is the possibility to attend the SE Scotland MCN ID Psychiatry CPD programme in Edinburgh fortnightly.

In the SE Scotland Deanery region there are a number of research and audit opportunities within the SE Scotland Learning Disability Service.  A monthly research group is run by the ST4-6s in ID Psychiatry and is supervised by Dr Andrew Stanfield.  This gives the opportunity to discuss any projects currently underway and become involved in multiple projects at different levels.  

Many of the research projects have been presented at previous RCPsych International Congress and Faculty of ID meetings.

Teaching opportunities

The University of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews have modern undergraduate medical curricula and trainees are able to be actively involved at various levels in undergraduate teaching and examining.

Postgraduate teaching opportunities include giving lectures and seminars to CTs on the various MRCPsych courses across Scotland, PBL training, GPST training and GP CPD amongst others.

There are often ample opportunities to give talks on mental health issues in those with ID to Support Providers as well as other colleagues in the NHS.


Teaching/Management/Leadership experience can be gained through a number of modules run by NES, SEFCE and the RCPsych.

Experience and development of leadership and management skills will also be gained via clinical placements as well as special interest sessions.

For any further information please do not hesitate to contact Dr Qudrat Ullah  -

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Carseview Centre, Dundee, New Craigs Hospital, Inverness, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, The Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, Borders General Hospital, Melrose, Leverndale Hospital, Kirklands Hospital, Bothwell, Lynebank Hospital, Dunfermline, Parkhead Hospital, Glasgow, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow

This programme involves placements in various locations (rural and urban) acros Scotland including Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Queen Margaret Hospital, Lynebank Hospital, Borders General Hospital, Carstairs State Hospital, Gartnavel General Hospital, Kirklands Hospital, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Carseview Centre, Levendale Hospital, Ayrshire Central and Stobhill Hospital, Lochview

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 August 2010
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 for Scotland Forest Grove House Foresterhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZP
Tel: 01224 805132
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Qudrat Ullah
Address: NE Learning Disability Team Glasgow City Health and Social Care Petershill Park Business Centre 30 Adamswell Street Glasgow G21 4DD
Quality of Training Quality Management

How to Apply

Search Specialty
Training Opportunities