Select Committee on Health Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 19

Joint memorandum by Dr Andrew Fairbairn and Dr Jane Garner (DD 30)

OLD AGE PSYCHIATRY FACULTY OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS

  1.  There is an inappropriate focus on acute hospital settings in relation to care of the elderly and this can often result in delayed discharges.

  2.  Many patients in the acute sector have comorbid psychiatric problems, usually dementia or depression, which prevent their speedy discharge home.

  3.  We believe that this situation could be improved considerably by an increased understanding of these conditions on the medical wards and by old age psychiatry staff working in collaboration with the acute hospital staff.

  4.  There is no lack of willingness for closer co-operation but as our services are currently configured and funded there is not the time and space to take it on.

  5.  Some areas are endeavouring to make bids for intermediate care monies to finance a liaison team but there is still much work to do.

January 2002



 
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