Information for patients and carers

How referral is made

The following criteria guide the referral process:

  1. Referrals should come from a consultant psychiatrist working in the NHS.
  2. All patients should have a nominated consultant psychiatrist who will retain responsibility for the individual's care.
  3. Referrals will be accepted from throughout the UK. Individuals referred from out with the UK may be considered for assessment. However, the process of acquiring external funding may take longer and may be more complex than usual. We would encourage the referrer to discuss such a potential referral with us.
  4. If you are not resident in Scotland, funding may be required for assessment. Unfortunately, we cannot allocate appointment dates until we have confirmation of funding.

Can I pay privately?

Due to the nature of the service, we unable to accept self-referrals and individuals cannot fund their own assessment/ treatment. The AIS works within the NHS, which has, at its core, a different method of funding than many other countries' systems.

More importantly, in order to deliver the highest levels of service we believe that individuals must receive treatment with the support of - and in the context of - an ongoing package of care from their local services and this could not be guaranteed if we accepted private patients.

What happens during assessment?

It is important to remember that everything starts with assessment. You may have been referred with a view to suitability for a particular treatment but we this is only a small part of the process.

Prior to your visit, we would review your casenotes to get helpful information about the course of your illness and we will complete a detailed review of previous treatments.

Typically, assessment will take most of the day. The morning consists of detailed assessment of symptoms, confirmation of diagnosis, and psychiatric history. We will commonly use a variety of validated rating scales. After lunch, time is spent reviewing the adequacy of previous psychological treatments. Finally, we will meet with you (and accompanying family/ spouse) to discuss the likely outcome of assessment and some of our recommendations.

In many cases, we will be unable to give a full report on the day but we hope to be able to explain whether particular treatments are appropriate, and which treatments may be recommended.

Who gets the report?

We aim to send the report to your consultant psychiatrist within 3-4 weeks of being seen. Your GP will also receive a copy. The report may be delayed if case notes are not sent to us in time.

In most cases, we will offer you the chance to have a copy of the completed report. You do not have to accept, but many people find it helpful to have the information when they next meet up with their psychiatrist.

What is the outcome of assessment?

Quite frequently our recommendations will comprise of a number of recommendations:

  1. We may recommend that you receive a particular psychological treatment, and we will usually ask that this is provided locally.
  2. We may make recommendations regarding additional drug treatments that haven't been tried, and which may offer reasonable chances of success.
  3. We may explain that most criteria are met for interventions such as Anterior Cingulotomy. However, in most cases the time taken from assessment to surgery can be lengthy and we rarely make such recommendations without suggesting that further antidepressants or psychological treatments are tried in the meantime.

We will not always arrange a follow-up appointment after assessment, and most people will return back to the follow-up of their own psychiatric team.


Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2013 14:15

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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