Quality statement 3: Recognition of mental health conditions
- Quality statement
- Quality measures
- What the quality statement means for organisations providing care, social care, health and public health practitioners, local authorities and other commissioning services
- What the quality statement means for service users
- Source guidance
- Definitions of terms used in this quality statement
- Equality and diversity considerations
Older people in care homes have the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions recognised and recorded as part of their care plan.
Mental health conditions are highly prevalent among older people in care homes, but are often not recognised, diagnosed or treated. Ageing with good mental health can make a key difference in ensuring that life is enjoyable and fulfilling. The recognition and recording of symptoms and signs of mental health conditions by staff who are aware of the role of the GP in the route to referral can help to ensure early assessment and access to appropriate healthcare services.
What the quality statement means for organisations providing care, social care, health and public health practitioners, local authorities and other commissioning services
Organisations providing care ensure that staff are trained to be alert to the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions in older people in care homes and to record them in a care plan.
Social care, health and public health practitioners look for symptoms and signs of mental health conditions and record them in the older person's care plan.
Local authorities and other commissioning services commission services from providers that can produce evidence of protocols for training staff to be alert to the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions in older people in care homes and to record them in a care plan.
Older people in care homes are cared for by staff who recognise the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions (such as depression and anxiety) and record them in their care plan.
Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers (2018) NICE guideline NG97, recommendations 1.2.1 and 1.2.5
GP services for older people living in residential care: a guide for care home managers (2013) SCIE guide 52, Managers' responsibilities and the NHS reforms: Actions as a result of listening to residents and relatives; Accurate, up-to-date recording. Workforce development, standards and regulation: Developing trained, confident care workers
Common mental health problems: identification and pathways to care (2011) NICE clinical guideline 123, recommendations 188.8.131.52 (key priority for implementation), 184.108.40.206 (key priority for implementation) and 220.127.116.11
Delirium: prevention, diagnosis and management (2010) NICE clinical guideline 103, recommendations 1.2.1 and 1.4.1
This refers to all care home settings, including residential and nursing accommodation, and includes people accessing day care and respite care.
These includecommon mental health conditions such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder, and may also include dementia and delirium. People may have more than one mental health condition at a given time. (See the NICE guidelines on dementia, depression in adults, depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem, delirium, common mental health problems and social anxiety disorder for more information.)
Recognised in this context relates to staff observing and recognising the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions, and sharing information and concerns with healthcare professionals, including GPs. Staff should be continually alert to new or worsening symptoms and signs. Observation of behaviour should happen on an ongoing basis and in response to the presentation of relevant symptoms.
This refers to staff who have been trained to recognise and record the symptoms and signs of mental health conditions when caring for older people. Staff should be alert to the presentation of new symptoms and signs and aware of existing conditions. Staff should also be competent in recognising when older people need a referral for assessment and management of the mental health condition.
When looking for symptoms and signs of mental health conditions, be aware of any learning disabilities, acquired cognitive impairments, communication and language barriers, sensory impairment and cultural differences. Staff should ensure that they are aware of the needs and preferences of older people who are approaching the end of their life.
It is important that staff are aware that older people in care homes have the same right to access healthcare as people living independently in the community. This is stated in the NHS Constitution for England.