Our National Dementia Strategy is a document I've already commented upon this month, but this little gem raised my spirits so has to be shared.
It basically says, right on the last page of the whole strategy (just before the appendicies) that specialist mental health services for older adults should not be dismantled, absorbed into generic "depression" and "schizophrenia" and other "modular" general adult services, but should remain as they are and grow stronger. Hurrah!
You'll find it in chapter 6, page 74, of the full strategy document. In case you don't have it to hand, here it is in full :
"Implementation of this Strategy will need to be part of a broader focus on older people’s mental health services. Strong concerns were raised during the consultation exercise that some localities may be interpreting age equality in mental health services to mean a ‘one size fits all ages’ approach. This generally means using existing working-age adult services to look after older people with functional illness. With reflection, this is much more likely to increase age discrimination than it is to address it. This is because age here is a proxy for a different set of needs and therefore skills. Equivalent quality of care is likely to require enhancing current older people’s mental health teams to have higher levels of functionality in terms of the capacity for assertive outreach, for example. This would benefit those with dementia as well as those older people with functional disorder. The improvement of services for people with dementia must not be used as an excuse for diluting specialist services for older people with other mental health needs."