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Older People's Mental Health Services

We provide a range of services for older people with mental health needs across the county. Older people have similar mental health needs to people of a working age, although some illnesses (such as dementia) are more prevalent. Services are, therefore, provided in a different way to take account of older people's additional needs. All of the staff who work within Mental Health Services for Older People - whether it is in a community setting or an inpatient ward - have specialist skills. We aim to treat older people with dignity and respect and to provide care in an individualised manner based upon assessed needs.

Mental Health Services for Older People provide the Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service (EMDASS) – if you are looking for information about EMDASS please click here

All referrals are made via our Single Point of Access (SPA). The person who has been referred will receive a triage telephone call from SPA to find out a little more about their needs so that they can be referred onward or signposted to the most appropriate service to meet their needs.

Most referrals are made by the GP, but other professionals can also make referrals. People can also refer themselves to our service, but we may ask you to see your GP first if there are recent changes to their physical health. The SPA number is 0800 6444 101.

Our community teams are divided in four quadrants across Hertfordshire, and these are aligned to the local authorities. Our East Quadrant covers Broxbourne Borough, East Herts District, and WelHat Borough, our North Quadrant covers North Herts District and Stevenage Borough, our North West Quadrant covers Dacorum Borough and St Albans City and District, and our South West Quadrant covers Hertsmere Borough, Three Rivers District and Watford Borough.

Each Quadrant team delivers four functions, a community team, a crisis function, a therapy function and an EMDASS.

The Community Team and Therapy Function work together to support people with mental health needs in their own homes. The team comprises or Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Support Workers. They also have a Social Worker and Community Care Officers to undertake Social Care work (for which have responsibility on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council for people that have a mental health condition, excluding dementia).

The crisis function works very closely with the community team to provide a step up, step down model of care. The crisis function will work with people who are open to the community team but need increased support for a short period of time. This may be as an alternative to coming into one our units.

Our units provide a safe environment for treatment that cannot be safely provided at the person’s home and requires 24 hour supervision or monitoring for a short period of time.

Our teams work closely with other agencies and organisations, for example with GPs, Community Physical Health and Social Care to ensure that older people receive care which is appropriate and effectively co-ordinated.

Our teams will liaise closely with services for adults of working age, in order that there is a smooth transition from one service to another for service users who continue to require mental health care as they grow older. People who are over 65 years old presenting with a new illness will be referred straight to older adult services.


New Referrals via Single Point of Access – 0800 6444 101.

Local Teams:

East Herts – 01707 364003 ENHerts.SMHTOP@nhs.net

North Herts – 01438 792190 hpft.NorthHerts.SMHTOP@nhs.net

North West Herts – 01442 275628 hpft.NWHerts.SMHTOP@nhs.net

South West Herts – 01923 837148   hpft.swherts.smhtop@nhs.net

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