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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.

All referrals are made via our Single Point of Access (SPA). The service user 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.

Our teams work closely with other agencies and organisations to ensure that older people receive care which is appropriate and effectively co-ordinated.  They 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.

Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service (EMDASS)
The Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service EMDASS) is a support service for people who think they may have memory problems and this service is available through GPs in all parts of Hertfordshire. The service provides a pre and post diagnostic support pathway for people and their carers who have been identified as having a suspected dementia and as a consequence of assessment within EMDASS receive a new diagnosis of dementia. The aim of the service is enable people with dementia and their carers to live well with their illness, through post diagnostic support offered by this service and they are also given an opportunity to plan for their future. This service is offered for a period of 38 weeks when the service user and carers will be transferred onto to a relevant service to support their assessed needs the Alzheimers society is available to offer support throughout the pathway.

We also provide services for adults of working age with dementia.  

All of our EMDASS teams are fully accredited in the Memory Service Network Accreditation Programme, a set of national standards set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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