Psychiatrists want to find `lost` patients

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has called on primary care
trusts to carry out an audit of care in the community to find
“forgotten” mental health patients.

The RCP believes thousands of over-65s suffering chronic mental
illness are living in local authority, private sector and voluntary
care homes without the knowledge of specialist mental health

It says some of the patients may have lost touch when they were
released from psychiatric units under the care in the community
programme in the 1990s. Other patients may have developed mental
health problems while living in a home, but never received proper
psychiatric treatment.

Dave Jolley, medical director of Wolverhampton Health Care NHS
Trust, said many of these patients aren’t getting adequate care.
“First we need to identify where these people are, review how
they’re being treated and look at whether their needs are being
met. Many of them have lost contact with their families and their
physical health is poor.”

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