Service users and staff have welcomed changes to mental health services for older people in Wakefield. The changes mean that older people are getting the most appropriate care, in the most appropriate setting – which is usually not a hospital environment.

In a move away from traditional bed based services, services will now be provided in the community; capitalising on the skills of both staff and patients and leading to increased flexibility.

The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust has worked alongside partner organisations including local Primary Care Trusts, the dementia collaborative and social services, to develop and modernise mental health services for older people.

The changes to the services have been developed based on the needs of service users and carers, using local evidence. They include a rapid assessment service, home treatment team, crisis resolution and day treatment. In-patient services for people who require in-patient support will also continue to be provided.

‘The new rapid assessment team will assess patients on referral,’ explained James Waplington a modern matron within older peoples services. ‘This will take less time than in the past, helping to ease uncertainty for patients, family and carers. Patients will then begin to receive the most appropriate care, in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

‘Treatment and continued assessment will now be provided in the home, by the home treatment team. Patients will receive support and help when they need it the most. They will also be encouraged to continue to use and draw upon existing skills, which they may not have always had the chance to do within a bed based setting.

‘We have been piloting these new services for the past three months and have had an extremely positive response from both patients and staff. Patients and carers have told us what they want and we have responded to their needs. The new services have given staff increased flexibility and they have welcomed the changes.

‘The pilot has shown us that providing the right intervention at the right time is crucial in providing the best care for older people. The new services have ensured that we can provide care in a setting best suited to our patients needs.’


time to read: 1 min