This document is available
online-only. There are no print copies available for
From April 2012, unjustifiable age discrimination will be banned in
the UK and health and social care services will be legally required
to promote age equality in their adult mental health services.
Of all health and social care services, older
people’s mental healthcare has been highlighted as one of the worst
examples of discrimination. This has been described in a number of
high-level national reports.
There is a danger that commissioners and
providers of mental health services, in an attempt to meet the need
for equality and to save money, might attempt to merge adult and
older people’s services into ‘age-blind’ services. This does not
recognise age-appropriateness, is against the policies of the
government and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and will result
in indirect age discrimination.
As the population is ageing there will need to
be more expertise available for older people, and specialist older
people’s mental health services will be essential to train future
generations to acquire that expertise.
- Explains what age discrimination is
- Gives examples of age discrimination in
- Describes the requirements under the Equality
- Provides guidance on responding to the
equality challenge in a nondiscriminatory
- age-appropriate manner.