Experts condemn closure of key services for older people

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Older people with dementia and other mental health problems are losing out because the NHS is scrapping key services through misunderstanding of age discrimination laws, some of the world’s leading experts say.

Frail older people should not be treated alongside younger patients suffering from aggressive psychoses in an attempt to save money, doctors, nurses and academics say.

In a letter to The Times, the heads of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of Nursing, British Geriatrics Society and dozens of professional groups around the world urge the NHS to stop abolishing specialist old-age psychiatry teams.

So far 11 per cent of trusts have abolished the services, which care for people at home at well as running memory clinics in hospitals, while a further seven per cent are planning to do so, a recent survey found. Yet almost all consultants thought this was harming patient care.

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