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Friday, 03 November 2017

Mental Health Trust wins London Health Innovation award for improving depression in older people care homes

Mental Health Trust wins London Health Innovation award for improving depression in older people care homes

On 2 November 2017, South West London and St. Georges Mental Health Trust (SWLSTG) won the London Health Innovation Award for improving depression in older people care homes.

The award, which also provides a Health Innovation Grant, recognised the excellent work of SWLSTG’s Wandsworth Behaviour and Communication Support Service (BACSS).

Katie Whitehead, Lead Nurse from Wandsworth BACSS, said, “We are delighted to have won the award for innovation. This funding will be used to improve the management and treatment of depression in older people residing in care homes by teaching staff – through interventions - to improve their confidence and ability to identify symptoms of depression.”

Wandsworth BACSS will now be able to complete a full audit of a previous smaller project completed as part of the Older People’s Nursing Fellowship and roll out the benefits to a larger population across Wandsworth. The project will focus on rolling out three interventions over the projects duration: 

  • A teaching session for care home staff to improve their confidence and ability to identify symptoms of depression.
  • To implement a depression-specific care plan to ensure residents taking anti-depressants are managed appropriately and the correct treatment is being documented.
  • To implement a care pathway for the care home staff, GP and mental health services to follow to ensure that NICE guidelines are being followed and, ultimately, that the resident with depression is being managed appropriately in concordance with best practice.

David Bradley, Chief Executive of SWLSTG, said, “I’m delighted that BACSS team in Wandsworth have been recognised for their hard work and innovation. Mental Health affects one in four people and this extra grant from the Health Innovation Network will give staff within the Trust the confidence in identifying the symptoms of depression and will also help us deliver an even better service to those in our care.”

As of 2015, NHS England estimates that for every 1,000 people aged over 65, 250 will have a mental illness and 135 will have depression. It is estimated that 85% of older people with depression receive no help from the NHS and only 6% of older people with depression are referred to mental health services. This project by Wandsworth BACSS will enable staff to confidently identify the early symptoms of depression so that more is done to help older people in care.

 

 

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