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NHS lothian

Are you interested in joining a committed and passionate team who provides high-quality care while developing psychiatrists and services for the future? Find out about the psychiatry career opportunities at NHS Lothian.

Get to know the area

NHS Lothian covers Edinburgh and the surrounding areas of West, East and Mid-Lothian. The region is a world-class place to live and work, voted number one in Time Out’s Cities to Live in the World 2022! 

At its heart, Edinburgh offers a brilliant mix of liveable neighbourhoods. Almost the whole city meets the 20-minute active travel neighbourhood standard, with an internationally renowned range of cultural spaces and events. The surrounding areas also offer a fantastic quality of life. East Lothian offers a seaside location but is only 40 minutes from the city centre.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Every year the biggest arts festival in the world takes place in August in Edinburgh. Having thousands of shows on the doorstep makes balancing work and cultural life really easy! 

Strong employment opportunities

The population of the region is growing fast, driven by the opportunities available. The largest international airport north of Manchester is only 30 minutes from the city centre. The mainline train stations offer quick links North, South and West.

The city and surrounding region have strong employment opportunities for people across a range of industries. For people who work in different sectors or professions, Edinburgh is a brilliant place to live to combine different careers.  

Photo: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Working as a psychiatrist in NHS Lothian

NHS Lothian provides mental health care to around one million people. This means we are big enough to offer all the specialist pathways that support core mental health teams but small enough that there is the opportunity to get to know most of your consultant colleagues.

There are sub-speciality on-call rotas for CAMHS, ID and forensics across the Health Board, and most of the area also has separate adult and old age on-call rotas.

Our services

Many of the South East Scotland regional services are hosted by NHS Lothian, including:

  • eating disorders
  • perinatal
  • medium secure forensic I/P care

This means there are opportunities across all the areas of practice that psychiatrists do. Even people working in the most specialist areas will be part of a team of colleagues to help develop and support each other throughout a consultant's career.  

In our core mental health services across NHS Lothian, new colleagues will join an established team with substantive consultant colleagues across the health board.

Supporting junior doctors and trainees

Almost all consultants supervise junior doctors. We have a significant number from core psychiatry training, all sub-speciality higher trainees, GPSTs, and FY2s.

NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh have a solid track record of supporting trainees through the MRCPsych curriculum course, broader research, and teaching. All core and higher training posts in SE Scotland are filled each year. 

Quality improvement programme

We have a very well-developed quality improvement programme for mental health.

One focus of the programme has been safety on adult I/P wards. In recent benchmarking, NHS Lothian reported the second-lowest rate of restraint in the UK. This was achieved whilst maintaining overall safety on the wards.

Teaching and research opportunities

The University of Edinburgh is a leading centre for psychiatric research and has senior academics across the specialities. Our department has been working with the university on digital mental health, bipolar, and circadian rhythms research projects. We are also part of a multicentre trial into psychedelic-assisted therapy approaches.  

There is a new Professor of CAMHS. Developing world-class CAMHS pathways is a focus of both the university and NHS Lothian. 

Psychiatry careers at NHS Lothian

We have a fantastic range of committed and passionate consultants who take pride in providing high-quality care while developing psychiatrists and services for the future.

We want to speak to people interested in joining us at NHS Lothian. We've already had a diverse range of colleagues join us from around the world. We're keen to welcome new colleagues to our fantastic city and region to work with us to drive our services forward. 

View all psychiatry vacancies on our recruitment website.

Please get in touch using the contact details below!  

Contact us

Dr Andrew Watson

Associate Medical Director, Psychiatry


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