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Mental Health Services: Pensioners

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps the Government has taken to improve the quality of mental health care for pensioners. (211287)

[holding answer 18 June 2008]: We are improving mental health care for older people including pensioners through our new National Dementia Strategy and Implementation Plan, which will be out for consultation this month. The aim of the strategy is to ensure that significant improvements across three key areas in relation to dementia services: improved awareness; earlier diagnosis and intervention; and higher quality of care.

In addition to this, in 2006, we produced “Everybody's Business, Integrated Mental Health Services for Older Adults: A service development guide”, which set out the key components of a comprehensive mental health service. Copies of the guide are available in the Library. Since April 2006, the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) has rewarded general practitioner practices for maintaining a register of patients diagnosed with dementia and, more recently, the Care Services Improvement Partnership, our social care implementation arm, has been active in rolling out the Let's Respect campaign which provides guidance for general hospital staff on older people's mental health.