Log In
Sunday 22nd April 2018

Mental health services 'closed to elderly'

31st March 2009

The Healthcare Commission has said that mental health care is not as easily available to people aged over 65 as it is to younger patients.


The Commission discovered that in four of the six mental health trusts they looked at, a decision about mental healthcare was "based as much on age as clinical need".

The Commission's chief executive Anna Walker said the situation was "unacceptable".

The researchers said that elderly people could not access healthcare due to overstretched services. As a result, they were often unable to use alcohol support services and psychological therapies.

Ms Walker said: "It is truly unacceptable that out of hours and crisis services were often not available to older people. There needs to be a fundamental shift towards providing care based on a person's clinical need rather than their age."

She added that in light of the fact that 25% of admissions for mental health inpatient care were for over 65s, the topic required "urgent attention".

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said they expected NHS trusts to improve the situation.

Another study carried out by the Commission of the 68 NHS specialist community mental health trusts in England discovered that nearly 50% of  patients aged under 65 could not call an out-of-hours number if they had a problem.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Mental health services 'closed to elderly'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 10786
Date Added: 31st Mar 2009


BBC News
Health Service Journal

Recent Related Articles

Health starts failing at 47 in some parts of England and Wales

GP services satisfaction at a record low

Teachers diagnosed with mental health issues


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2018