Born March 13, 1926; Died: July 19, 2012.

Douglas Haldane, who has died aged 86, was a pioneering doctor who introduced the concept of embracing child and family psychiatry as one service.

He had the vision to bring the two together and established the UK's first department of Child and Family Psychiatry where he used a whole range of therapies to help improve the lives of countless young people.

He introduced drama and art, utilising the services of art therapist Joyce Laing, whose revolutionary work at Barlinnie Prison's Special Unit helped to inspire and transform a number of notorious prisoners, most notably Jimmy Boyle, from inmate to artist.

Mr Haldane also established a marital therapy clinic at the centre, later chaired the Scottish Marriage Council and wrote extensively on marriage and psychotherapy.

He was born in Annan, Dumfriesshire and schooled at Dumbarton and Dumfries Academies, going up to Edinburgh University in 1943.

When he graduated MB ChB in 1948 he was in the first class to qualify after the National Health Service was created.

He then served as an obstetric house surgeon in Edinburgh and at Cresswell Maternity Hospital, Dumfries and spent his national service as a surgeon lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

During the 1950s he was a registrar at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, lecturer in psychiatry for the Royal College of Nursing and a consultant psychiatrist and depute physician superintendent at Stratheden Hospital, Cupar in Fife.

There, at Playfield House, he established the department of Child and Family Psychiatry in 1960, developing consultant and treatment services for children, adolescents and their parents in a variety of clinic, domestic and educational settings.

While working there he was appointed honorary lecturer in psychiatry at Edinburgh University and contributed to the wellbeing of children through a range of local and national appointments. They included roles as: a member of the Scottish Education Department's working party on maladjusted children and of the Secretary of State's Advisory Council on Childcare; honorary president of the Association of Psychiatric Social Workers' Scottish branch and chairman of Fife's Children's Panel Advisory Council. He was also honorary secretary and chairman of the child psychiatry section and a member of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association's Scottish executive committee.

At the end of the 1960s he was instrumental in engineering the return to Scotland of Jock Sutherland, the former medical director of the mental health clinic, the Tavistock in London. And in 1970, Sutherland, Haldane and various other colleagues set up the Scottish Institute of Human Relations.

He had also managed to persuade Fife Health Board to create two new purpose-built residential units at Stratheden Hospital which opened in 1975. The following year he left there to go to Aberdeen where he was as senior lecturer in Aberdeen University's department of mental health and honorary consultant psychiatrist to Grampian Health Board.

He continued to promote practice and training in marital and family therapy and was a founder member of the Association for Family Therapy, establishing its Grampian branch in 1978. In addition, he was vice-president of the Scottish Pre-School Playgroups Association and helped to introduce the concept of play into children's hospital wards.

A prolific author, he wrote and co-authored numerous books and papers including Models for Psychotherapy: A Primer; Marriage Now and A Celebration of Marriage? looking at marriage in Scotland from 1931-81 and the implications for marital counselling and therapy. He chaired the Scottish Marriage Council from 1984-86, was later involved in Marriage Counselling Scotland in the 1990s and was a member of the Tavistock Institute of Marital Studies' advisory panel.

In 1994 he was elected an honorary member of the Society of Psychoanalytical Marital Psychotherapists and made an MBE in 1995 for his services to marriage counselling and family services in Fife.

He not only had the expertise to take him to the top of his field, and was happy to pass that on to his students and staff, but possessed a marvellous ability to organise and bring together people from a range of departments to create superb teams, leaving a legacy that continues to be built upon today.

Outside his professional life, he loved gardening and art, appreciating and collecting works as well as visiting galleries around the world with his wife Kathleen, whom he married in 1951.

Predeceased by his wife, he is survived by his sons Colin, Graham and Alistair.