staff spot the signs of mental illness !

Specialist nurses target Manchester hospitals to spot signs of mental illness for elderly in healthcare

Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012 – 08:57

By Tanya Jones

LILY: Liaison in Later Years project

Mental health nurses are visiting hospitals in central Manchester to help staff spot the signs of mental illness in a bid to improve overall healthcare for older people.

The project, Liaison in Later Years (LILY), will focus on the over-65s.

Research has shown that 67% of the general hospital population are aged over 65, and another 67% of these people have some form of mental health problem.

Dr Suzanne Jeffries, clinical lead on the initiative for Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, said: “In the majority of cases where someone has both physical and mental health problems, the mental health problem is either undetected or undertreated. This means that they stay in hospital longer and this project aims to address that.”

In addition to helping with diagnosis, mental health staff will support the treatment and care of older people with mental health problems, leading to improvements in experience for both patients and carers.

New services include a single point of referral and access to psychiatric help and mental health training for acute staff.

The project will also aim to build better links with communities and the support services offered there, and help to facilitate stronger communications between mental health services, primary care and the acute hospital sector.

Improving the way primary and mental health care providers work together is a key objective of the National Dementia Strategy.

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