A postal questionnaire was circulated to all consultants in old age psychiatry in Wales, examining provision of services with reference to the indicative service levels defined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of Physicians.
The response rate was 100%. Levels of staffing and resources overall fell well below recommendations and varied widely between services. The average population over 65 served by a whole time consultant was 22 995; more than twice that recommended. No association was found between morale or how well population needs were perceived as being met, and the size of the population served.
Considerable investment in staff and other resources is needed for the recommendations made by the royal Colleges concerning service levels and, by implication, service quality to be met.
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