Today the Old Age Faculty launches guidance to help local areas plan and deliver specialist services, led by old age psychiatrists, to meet the needs of older people.
The report brings together views from older people, service users, carers and a wide range of health and social care professionals and provides insight into:
- the essential role played by old age psychiatrists, and the Older People’s Mental Health (OPMH) services to whom they provide leadership, in delivering high quality outcomes for the health and wellbeing of the UK’s ageing population;
- the centrality of this to the Ageing Well agenda; and
- how best to support decision-makers responsible for implementing the NHS LTP as it affects older people
Good practice examples of collaboration and innovations involving old age psychiatrists across different health and social care settings, and especially in care homes are also shared.
Dr Amanda Thompsell, chair of the College’s Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry said:
“This report will be valuable and provide guidance to anybody who is interested in improving services to some of our most vulnerable patients and their carers.
Successfully delivering the welcome ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) for older people depends on the recognition that specialist old people’s mental health services provide essential expertise. Access to these specialist services must be incorporated at every stage of planning and implementation in all areas to meet the needs of older people.
I urge you to share this report with your local Commissioners and colleagues involved in the Primary Care Networks , Integrated Care Systems and Sustainability and Transformation plans.”
While the LTP sets out a vision for health services in England this report is also relevant for those involved in the development and commissioning of integrated health and social care services for older people across the UK devolved nations.