A winter recruitment drive which aimed to plug a gap in their crisis-hit Tayside psychiatry team has yielded a pair of new additions but chiefs say they are still hoping to add more specialists.
NHS Tayside had been advertising for people to fill a host of long-standing vacancies after concerns were raised about the high number of unfilled posts and the impact on patient care and waiting times.
But with two new additions confirmed, following a batch of interviews which took place at the beginning of this month, health board chiefs say they remain on the lookout for more additions.
A fresh drive was organised in October, just months after Scottish Government ministers were urged to intervene.
Early in 2020, it emerged 14 out of 17 general adult psychiatry roles at the board were vacant.
General adult psychiatry vacancies had spiked from two in June 2018 to five in September the same year, then up to 14 last February.
The health board had been plugging the gap using locum doctors from other regions, developing the advanced nurse practitioner role and working to introduce video consultations for children.
“Attractive relocation packages” had been made available by the health board to draw in candidates.
Concerns had been raised by local councillors about the timeframe for bringing in staff.
However, NHS Tayside say where the recent additions can start straight away, they will.
An NHS Tayside spokeswoman confirmed: “There continues to be a national shortage of consultant psychiatrists in Scotland and the UK.
“Our recent UK-wide recruitment campaign has recruited two consultant psychiatrists for general adult psychiatry.
“We continue to actively recruit to consultant psychiatrist posts in mental health and learning disability services.”