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NHS guide to aid older people's mental health services

14th November 2005

A new NHS guide on older people's mental health will help ensure that older people have their needs met wherever they are in the health system, minister Liam Byrne claims.

Launched today, the guide will put new focus on older people's mental health including delirium, dementia and depression.

Entitled, 'Everybody's business. Integrated mental health services for older adults: A service development guide' the scheme will set out the key components of a modern older people's mental health service.

It will provide users and their carers with information on their condition and will consult them about how care plans are developed. Staff will be trained at all levels so they can communicate effectively with service users and services will in turn be built around a person's needs.

Ian Philp, national clinical director for older people said: "Providing services for people with mental health needs can be complex as they cut across health and social care, physical and mental health and mainstream and specialist services.

"It is essential to make sure that people's needs are met in a co-ordinated way, and that they don't fall between gaps in the system."

Currently, 50 per cent of older people in hospital experience mental health problems.