Public Health

Mental Health

Mental health is a priority across England including Hertfordshire. Mental health can affect everybody - children, adults and the elderly. Nationally, on average 1.35% of adult patients are recognised on a mental health register and in West Hertfordshire there are approximately 6,023 patients which accounts for 1.05% of the population.

The population has a larger than average aging population impacting on the current and forecast levels of mental health needs, not least in Dementia. The over 65 population is expected to increase by 22% by 2020 and within this population growth there will be a dramatic increase in the over 85's which is expected to grow by over 40% compared to today's figures.

Dementia can affect people of any age but it is most prevalent in older people. Factors contributing to the onset of Dementia include age, genetic make-up, medical history and lifestyle and particularly alcohol misuse.

Within the Trust's Public Health Strategy - Older People and Improving Mental Health - collaborative work is on-going with Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust, the Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust and other external organisations (see below).

The Trust is committed to work with partners to improve and support patient care.

The Trust supports the government's carers' strategy "Carers in the heart of 21st Century families and communities" published in June 2008.

The main streams of partnership (internal and external services) work include:

  1. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
  2. Mental Capacity Act 2005
  3. Mental Health Act 2007
  4. Self Harm
  5. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - April 2009
  6. National Dementia Strategy - February 2009
  7. Healthcare for all - July 2008
  8. Care of patients with hip fractures (fractured neck of femur)
  9. Raising awareness with clinical staff in particular within the Accident and Emergency department at Watford General Hospital and in-patient wards - training for safeguarding vulnerable adults is mandatory for nursing and midwifery staff
  10. Participation in regularly meetings within the health economy
  11. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
Trust Policies and Guidelines
Support arrangements for staff

Staff with any mental health associated concerns are directed, in the first instance, to the Occupational Health department - located at Watford General and Hemel Hempstead General hospitals.

Link to specialist organisations
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