The new general practitioners' contract requires the primary health care team to perform a yearly assessment of their patients of 75 and over. This includes an assessment of the ‘mental condition’. In a list size of 2,000, typically 130 fall within this age group. Screening does not have to be carried out by the doctor and as 90% are already seen at least once a year, there is scope for opportunistic screening. Nonetheless, screening increases the general practitioner's workload and while it improves the morale of elderly people, it may have little impact on medical and functional problems.
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