HUDDERSFIELD’s mental health trust has been praised for its “positive” services for older people.
But it needs to involve patients and carers more and organise better activities, a study has found.
The recommendations were outlined in a report carried out by national watchdog The Healthcare Commission.
The document focused on Equality in Later Life and looked at issues including age discrimination, the quality of inpatient care, how comprehensible services were and how organisations work together.
The study comes as figures predict a 15% rise in the number of over 65s in the UK by 2019. Dementia sufferers are also expected to top a million by 2025. South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust – which runs services across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield – was one of six specialist mental health organisations visited by officials.
Staff, service users, carers and social workers were among those interviewed as part of the process.
The commission raised concerns over discrimination against elderly people with mental health problems as a result of the study.
But it felt SWYMHT’s services for older people offered a comprehensive range of specialist services.
It was also impressed with its commitment to maintaining privacy and dignity for elderly patients, its close partnerships with stakeholders and outside agencies, and the level of training given to staff.
Service users and carers were very positive about the care and treatment they had received.
Staff were also positive, especially in relation to the development of the service over the past few years and their involvement in the shaping of that development.
The trust’s assistant director of older people’s services Sue Barton said: “We were delighted with the feedback from the Healthcare Commission as a result of the study.
“It highlighted the things we are getting right, which has spurred us on to do even better, but also shed light on areas that need more work.”