The National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People represents a major shift in recognising the needs of older people for health and social care services, and offers a framework of standards for the delivery of care and treatment. The NSF states that older people who have mental health problems will have access to integrated mental health services, provided by the NHS and councils to ensure effective diagnosis, treatment and support for them and their carers. The core elements of a high quality mental health service are defined as:
- health promotion and prevention
- early detection, intervention and comprehensive assessment
- access to specialist services, advice and skills, treatment and rehabilitation
- integrated care management, including the provision of a community psychiatric nurse for older people with severe and enduring mental illness
- organisation of specialist services and teams with emphasis on provision at home and support for carers
- continuous development from sharing good practice and learning from experience
- organisation of specialist services and teams with emphasis on provision at home.