New elderly mental health service to launch

pic: Duygu Saykan

A number of new psychiatric Liaison Services for older people will launch accross east London, the NHS anounced yesterday.

The new services will open at East London NHS Trust in February, the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Mile End Hospital Bancroft Unit and London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green.

The team, run by East London NHS Foundation Trust will provide assessment, treatment and management of mental health problems to older people.

The service is for people over 65 years old suffering from mental health issues. Common problems include anxiety, depression, dementia, schizophrenia or any other mental health or psychological problem.

The team will provide specialist advice for hospital staff relating to the management and treatment of mental health problems including delirium, sleep disturbance, aggression, memory problems, anxiety, mood disorder or challenging behaviours.

The team of seven specialists will also assess people under 65 years old who have a suspected memory problem.

Barts and The London NHS Trust Medical Director Dr Steve Ryan said the service would be invaluable for staff and patients at the new Royal London Hospital.

Ryan told EastLondonLines: “Physical and mental health are closely linked and in an acute hospital like the Royal London, we often see cases where a patient’s physical issue closely affects their frame of mind. “Older people are particularly vulnerable as they already have a higher risk of developing mental health conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Team Manager, Melanie King said: “The aim of the service is early detection and treatment of mental health problems in older adults admitted into hospital. A large part of our role will be to support ward staff in managing their care during their stay on the ward. We will work together with the ward clinical teams, the patient and their carers to help to ensure individuals also have the right support when discharged from hospital. ”The team can provide information to families about the mental health issues and arrange ongoing support when the individual goes home.

The Older Adult Psychiatric Liaison Service is based at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and can be contacted on 020 7377 7000.

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