BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 21 June, 2002, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Varying levels of Alzheimer care
Elderly patient
Detecting signs of Alzheimer's disease early is vital
The quality of mental health services for older people in Wales varies greatly, depending on where people live, according to a report compiled by the Audit Commission.

It also found there are severe shortages of specialist practitioners in some areas.


There are a shortage of specialists, problems in training GPs and shortages in the joint working between local authorities and the health service

Wales Alzheimer Society manager Phil Davies
Calls are now being made for the Welsh Assembly to start work on a specific strategy for mental health services for older people.

The report, called Losing Time, found that people in some areas were being forced to travel long distances to get the right kind of support.

It also said that the needs of carers should be assessed more consistently, although they are generally well-supported.

Members of the Alzheimer's Society in Wales participated in the report, and are well aware of the problems faced.

"There are a shortage of specialists, problems in training GPs and shortages in the joint working between local authorities and the health service," said the society's Wales manager Phil Davies.

"All these are issues which need to be urgently addressed."

Mr Davies also revealed that there had been a commitment to starting work on a new strategy, after this Audit Commission report was completed.

"It is partly an issue of resources but what we will be calling on the assembly for is a strategy for mental health services for older people across Wales."

Good practice

Dementia affects one-in-five people over 80 and the report estimates that around 40,000 people in Wales could have some form of dementia.

But only 40% of 700 Welsh GPs surveyed feel they have had enough training to diagnose and manage dementia, and that arrangements to access specialist care are inconsistent.

The report intends to help the Welsh Assembly Government plan its mental health services.

The Losing Time document highlighted over 30 examples of good practice but said this good practice was not being shared widely enough.

A memory clinic at Cardiff's Llandough Hospital, specialist planning groups in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend, and a "cornerstone" scheme at Denbighshire Social Services have been singled out for particular praise.

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes