A crisis team for older people with mental health issues in Calderdale will launch following additional investment from Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group.
Currently the older peoples Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) operates Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. The team provide an initial assessment and support, but there is no dedicated crisis service and the service can only respond to those already known to the team.
Outside these hours the Intensive Home Based Treatment Team (IHBT) will respond to an immediate crisis but will not provide intensive help.
The new service will provide purely crisis support from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Outside of these hours help will still be available from our IHBT if required.
Dr Caroline Taylor, GP at Beechwood Medical Centre in Ovenden and Calderdale CCG Governing clinical lead for mental health, said: “As a CCG we are committed to ensuring that we have the right mental health services in place for people of all ages.
“Currently, there is no dedicated service for older people to support them in crisis in the community, but evidence and best practice has shown that focusing on the specific needs of this age group can help reduce the number of people being admitted to hospital.
“In order to improve this situation, the CCG has decided to make additional investment for an older people’s mental health crisis service in Calderdale.”
Alison Gibbons, General Manager (Older Adults) at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust, the organisation that provides the service, said: “It’s important we get the right support in place for local people. In the coming years, the number of older people in the UK population will increase significantly.
“By 2036 it is expected that 23.9% of the population will be over 65 and over 5% of the population will be over 85 years of age. Dementia affects 5% of people over 65years and over 20% in those over 80 years. The highest prevalence of depression in the population is found in those over 75 years.”
The new service will offer intensive home based treatment as an alternative to hospital admission, thus allowing people who are unwell and their carers to be supported in the least restrictive environment with the minimum disruption to their lives. It will also help ensure that people are only admitted to hospital beds when there is no alternative, and are able to return again home swiftly when they are well enough.
The service will support the individual and family to make links within their community that can provide ongoing advice and support. This will help to ensure that they are supported after the initial crisis situation has been managed, and in order to try and prevent or reduce future crisis situations.
Alison said: “Out Trust exists to help people reach their potential and live well in their communities by providing high-quality care in the right place at the right time. This new service will enable more older people in Calderdale to stay at home, within their community, in the residence of their choice for as long as is safe to do so. The new contract is creating new posts which we are in the process of recruiting to and we are looking forward to a new team manager joining us in February 2020 to help shape the service.”