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NHS Lanarkshire involves public in review of old age psychiatry services

Written by Calvin Brown.
Published at 20:17 GMT on Friday, July 19th, 2013.

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NHS Lanarkshire is asking patients, carers and relatives their views on the best way to improve care for older people with mental health issues.

A review is underway in response to the changing needs and profile of older people who access NHS Lanarkshire’s Old Age Psychiatry Services.

Dr Jennifer Borthwick, Clinical Director for Old Age Psychiatry, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Our aim is to provide the best possible services for older people with mental health issues. We have seen lots of improvements in recent years.

“For example, older people now have better access to psychological therapies and we have more staff working in our community mental health teams for older people than in the past. We also have better facilities within new health centres and Integrated Day Services for Older People have been established to provide coordinated care across North Lanarkshire.

“The needs and profile of our patients is changing with the number of people in Lanarkshire aged over 75 expected to almost double over the next 20 years. It is important that we continue to develop services to best meet these changing needs. We want to do this with the input of patients, their carers and relatives, and are launching a review process that will give them the opportunity to shape how services develop.”

The review is closely linked to Reshaping Care for Older People – a national programme to improve the way in which care is delivered by increasing community support and services.

The review will consider which hospital sites would provide the best future locations for old age psychiatry admission wards and the number of beds needed to meet the needs of patients. It will also look at how community services for older people with mental health issues should continue to develop.

In addition to a wide range of community services, Old Age Psychiatry has a total of 124 acute admissions beds based at Wishaw General Hospital, Coathill Hospital in Coatbridge, Airbles Road Centre in Motherwell, Udston Hospital in Hamilton and Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride. On average only 70 of these beds are in use each night.

Dr Borthwick said: “Recent community developments in Lanarkshire for older people with mental health issues mean people now have access to a wide range of treatments and specialist care either in their own home or in the local community.

“As a result, we have seen less need for old age psychiatry acute admission beds. Staying at home with the right support lets people enjoy longer, healthier, more independent and happier lives.

“There will continue to be times when admission to a hospital bed is needed. The review will ensure that we have the right balance of beds in the right locations. The views of patients and relatives will be crucial to achieving this.”

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Members of the public are invited to an information session to find out more about the review at 11am-12noon on Thursday 22 August in St Andrew’s Parish Church Hall, Motherwell. There will be a brief presentation followed by the opportunity to ask questions.

Additional sessions for staff and the public are also being held: 2.30-3.30pm on Wednesday 7 August at Glen Etive Training Suite, at Coathill Hospital, Coatbridge; 2.30-3.30pm on Thursday 8 August, at the Board Room, Udston Hospital, Hamilton; and 2.30-3.30pm on Friday 9 August, at the Health Education Room, Carluke Community Health Centre.

Further stakeholder events to develop and appraise options for the future direction of the service will take place in September.

Initial planning work on the review has included involvement from Alzheimer Scotland, Equals Advocacy and Lanarkshire Links – the mental health user and carer group.

To book a place at one of the information sessions, contact Laura Waddell, on 01698 858269 or email .

Updates about the review process can be found at: .

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