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.



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The Assessment Process at Dundee Advanced Interventions Service


What follows is an overview of the usual assessment process when you come to Dundee. We would usually expect patients to be accompanied by friends/ relatives/ partners/ etc. and we will seek your consent to get additional information from them.

Casenote Review

Before you are assessed we will have reviewed all available case notes so that we have as much information as possible on previous treatments. It also helps us to identify areas where there is uncertainty (e.g. diagnosis), and also issues that we should focus on (such as attitudes to treatment).

Psychiatric Review

In the morning, you will meet with one of the psychiatrists (Dr Christmas, Professor Keith Matthews, or Professor Douglas Steele) who will conduct a detailed psychiatric interview, focusing on current symptoms and impact of the illness upon your life. We will also spend time understanding more about you, your family, and your work. We routinely use rating scales in order to rate the severity of your illness.

Psychological Review

In the afternoon, you will meet one of our experienced psychological therapists who will take a slightly different approach to understanding your difficulties. This session focuses on the previous psychological therapies that you have received and looks at your experiences of these. It will also look at how 'psychologically minded' you may be so that we can offer advice on the likelihood that further psychological therapies (e.g. CBT) will be of benefit.

Being 'psychologically minded' refers to your general tendency to think about your emotions, your thoughts, your behaviours, and make connections between them. It also takes into account the extent to which you attribute symptoms to psychological processes ("it's my thoughts") rather than biological processes ("it's in my brain"). Not everyone is psychologically minded and a preference for one style doesn't imply that one style is better than another. Indeed, many people will vary between their approaches to their problems.

Feedback Session

In the afternoon, you will meet with all of the team that you have previously met over the course of the assessment. During this session we will offer feedback on what our views are and what treatment recommendations we are likely to make. This is an opportunity to ask questions and to clarify anything that hasn't been fully clear.

The purpose of this session is to come to a common understanding of your difficulties and to ensure that you go away with a sense of what happens next in terms of treatment options.


We would normally expect to send reports to the referring psychiatrist within 2-3 weeks of assessment. In almost all cases, we will offer you a copy of the report that we send. This will enable you to correct anything that you feel is wrong, understand the information on which we are making our recommendations, and to discuss the treatment plan with your psychiatrist.


How to get in touch with the service

Our mailing address is:

Advanced Interventions Service
Area 7, Level 6
South Block
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School

Our main telephone number is:

+44 (0)1382 496233

Our fax number is:

+44 (0)1382 633865

We have a number of email addresses which will ensure that your query reaches the best person:


Use this address


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Patient enquiries about the service. Note that we will not routinely give individual advice on treatment.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Clinicians wishing information about the referral process. You might find the information you need on the referrals page. Note that we do not accept referrals via email, and patient-identifiable information should not be sent.

Send us an email via this form:
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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.


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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