The Joint Committee on Higher Psychiatric Training (JCHPT) requires senior registrars (SRs) training for special responsibility posts in old age psychiatry to spend between one year and 18 months in higher training posts in which psychiatry of old age forms the major part of the work. Although only about a third of consultants in a recent survey had such training, there was strong evidence that more recently appointed consultants were likely to have recommended training. The availability of suitable training ‘slots’ seems likely to play a major role in how quickly specialised psychiatric services for old people can develop in response to the rising challenge posed by demographic changes. Jolley has already demonstrated how developments have been delayed by a shortage of properly trained candidates. Despite this the situation has now been reached where over two-thirds of the elderly population of the UK are served by specialised consultants albeit sometimes at inadequate manpower levels.
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