There are serious gaps in specialist services for older people with
mental illness and sensory impairments, and poor provision for
minority groups, the Social Services Inspectorate has
A new report on older people’s services in England highlights a
general shortfall in the availability of mental health services. In
particular, the mental health needs of ethnic minorities are often
For those with visual and sensory impairments, specialist services
are limited and have long waiting lists.
The SSI found that where services were not culturally sensitive,
there was “considerable potential for isolation and poor outcomes,
exacerbated by language difficulties and potential
misunderstandings by staff”.
However, the report details several improvements during the past
year, including improved integrated strategic planning between
health and social care services and the beginnings of a “cultural
shift” towards promoting independence and offering choice.
– SSI report, Improving Older People’s Services – An Overview
of Performance is available from www.doh.gov.uk/ssi/olderpeople03.htm