Update on the service and COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has affected all NHS services. However, we continue to function and although we cannot do all the things we did before, we are committed to providing as full a service as possible to patients and referring clinicians. Currently, this is what we can provide:

  1. Referrals - we have never closed to referrals and these will be reviewed, as usual, in our weekly team meetings (taking place via videoconference). If you have any questions about a referral, or would like to discuss something, please get in touch.
  2. Assessments - although we are not currently able to assess people face-to-face, we are able to conduct the assessment via videoconference (Zoom, Skype, etc.). This means that people can be assessed in the comfort of their own homes and do not have to travel. We are flexibly adapting our assessment process which means that it can take place over multiple days and people should not expect a full-day assessment (as previously). We are confident that this allows a comprehensive review of the patient's condition so that treatment recommendations can be made.
  3. Intensive treatment for OCD - we cannot provide therapist-guided exposure-and-response prevention at the current time due to the pandemic. For those individuals who would be receiving such treatment, we are shifting to delivery of treatment via videoconference. The team has experience in a range of treatments that can effectively be delivered online. When things return to something more closely resembling 'normal', if someone still needs intensive/ inpatient treatment, this will be offered.
  4. Neurosurgical treatment - for a range of reasons (limitations on travel, changes in service provision in the NHS), this is not currently available. We are in close contact with neurosurgical colleagues in London who perform the surgery so that we can keep people informed about when it is possible for people to travel for surgery.
  5. Follow-up reviews - for people who would normally be reviewed in Dundee because they have previously had neurosurgical treatment or received intensive treatment, we will be getting in touch to discuss options for conducting the clinical part of the review via videoconference. Since people cannot travel to Dundee currently, we will have to postpone the neuropsychological assessment and/or MRI scans, but we hope that the clinical reviews will allow us to discuss relevant treatment options with the individuals and their local teams.


About the Advanced Interventions Service

The Dundee Advanced Interventions Service is a specialist service providing assessment and treatment for severe and chronic treatment-refractory depression (TRD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

We are a National Specialist Service, which means that we are one of over 70 national services in Scotland, receiving funding directly from the National Services Division (NSD) of NHS Scotland. Referrals (and some treatments, such as neurosurgery or intensive exposure and response prevention) are cost-free to NHS Boards in Scotland. This works because monies for specialist services are 'top sliced' from money given to NHS Boards by the Scottish Executive.

We are 'hosted' by NHS Tayside and whilst most of the staff are employed by NHS Tayside, many of the staff hold honorary contracts (or indeed, full contracts) with the University of Dundee.


How to Refer to the Service

NHS organisations in Scotland who wish to make a referral can do so without having to apply for separate funding. NHS Trusts in England and Wales are required to obtain funding before patients can be seen.

Please see the table below to determine whether funding is required:

Patient from:




Intensive ERP


Funding not needed

Funding not needed

Funding required

Funding not needed

England / Wales / NI / Eire

Funding required

Funding required

Funding required

Funding required

Patients from Scotland can be assessed without additional funding. If they proceed to neurosurgery, this can be provided within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). If Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is requested and is clinically-appropriate, additional funding will be required even for Scottish patients as VNS is no longer funded as part of our SLA.


Intensive Treatment Programmes for OCD

From 1 April 2013, we are pleased to be able to offer intensive treatment programmes for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as part of our SLA. This means that Scottish patients will be able to receive specialist treatment in Scotland for the first time. Assessment and treatment (which may involve inpatient admission) is free to Scottish NHS Boards.

You can now download our Operational Framework here.

Please note that patients need to be referred by secondary care mental health teams, and to have a care plan in place with local services.

National Services Scotland

Advanced Interventions Service
Area 7, Level 6
South Block
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School
Dundee, DD1 9SY. UK.
Tel: +44 (0)1382 496233

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