Psychogeriatrics began to develop as a specialty within general psychiatry in the 1950's, but few pychiatrists became involved in establishing clinical services until a decade later. An ad hoc enquiry carried out by the DHSS in 1972 of Regional Hospital Boards revealed that 18 consultants then had a substantial (defined as five or more sessions) commitment to psychogeriatrics. At the same time a survey of psychogeriatric service provision revealed 31 units containing a total of 1,123 beds. Presumably, a number of units were being managed by general psychiatrists with less than a substantial commitment to old age psychiatry.
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