STICKLAND Nicolette, GENTRY Tom
Examines the extent to which the current provision of mental health services fails to meet the increasingly high demand from the ageing population. The report shows that currently 3 million people in the UK over the age of 60 are living with depression; this figure is set to rise to 4.3 million in the next 15 years due to the growing number of older people in our society; the NHS is not providing those in later life with mental health problems with sufficient treatment options, such as talking therapies and integrated care plans. The report makes a number of recommendations to build on progress already made and ensure that older people’s mental health gains not only parity of esteem with physical health concerns but parity with other age groups. These include: creation of a work stream dedicated to meeting older people’s mental health needs, as part of the implementation of Mental Health Taskforce recommendations; local health and care commissioners should fully understand the prevalence of common mental health conditions among the over 65s in their areas; each clinical commissioning group and local authority should consider appointing “older people’s mental health champions”; and all services should be appropriately funded and equipped to deliver fully integrated care that addresses mental and physical health and comorbidity.