Concerns have been raised over consistency of care for mental health sufferers in Angus.
Angus Conservative MP Kirstene Hair said there is only so much NHS Tayside can do until the shortage of psychiatrists is addressed.
As chairwoman and founder of the all-party Westminster group on eating disorders, Ms Hair has championed better treatment for those with mental health issues.
With locums being used as cover in community mental health services, Scottish Conservative Ms Hair worries patients may not be able to receive that continuity of care if staff frequently change.
Responding to these concerns, Tayside health board chief executive Grant Archibald said some locums have been in place for some time – but admitted there are locations that see quick staff turnover.
Mr Archibald stressed that Angus Health and Social Care Partnership is striving to provide a consistent quality of care across Angus “by making best use of all staff groups and resources”.
He said: “There is currently a national shortage of qualified medical consultant psychiatry staff across Scotland, a challenge which is also being experienced in both Angus and Tayside.
“In response, AHSCP is working with NHS Tayside to manage the risks associated with this and ensure the continued safe provision of services for our patients.
“Like many services across Scotland, locum consultants are used in community mental health services in some circumstances to help cover rotas for patient services when required.
“Please be assured that the majority of locums work with us for a significant period of time and are able to provide patients with continuity of care.
“However, in some areas locum consultants can change within short timescales.
“To address the ongoing medical consultant vacancies in the long term, we are considering our workforce challenges as part of the redesign of our services.”
Mr Archibald said the aim is to ensure that patient’s needs are met by the most appropriate member of staff which includes all professionals.
He said: “For example, traditionally patients who required their medication reviewed needed to see a psychiatrist.
“This is no longer the case and we are currently investing in specialist mental health pharmacists and advanced nurse practitioners who have received additional training and will be better placed to support patient’s needs.”
Ms Hair said patients need time to “build up a trusting relationship with their psychiatrist to help their recovery”.
She said: “That is much harder to do if we rely on locums who might have to change position quickly without much notice.
“NHS Tayside are doing what they can to help meet the demand for treatment in Angus, and I welcome that.
“However, there is only so much they can do until the shortage of psychiatrists is addressed.
“I still have far too many constituents who have cancelled appointments and no consistency around the psychiatrist they see for support.
“NHS Tayside have to address this as it is likely to have an impact on the recovery process.”