There is increased recognition that the role and function of a consultant psychiatrist is ill-defined and associated with excessive workloads, low job satisfaction, high levels of stress and high rates of premature retirement (Kennedy & Griffiths, 2001). This has led to an examination and debate about how consultants in general psychiatry could adapt models of working to address these difficulties, and also face the agenda of change facing the NHS as a whole and the mental health services in particular (Kennedy & Griffiths, 2001; De Silva & Sutcliffe, 2003). These challenges are not, of course, unique to general psychiatry, but as yet, there has been little debate about how consultants in other specialities, including old age psychiatry, could begin to try and address these difficulties. This article aims to stimulate debate, by describing an adapted model of working adopted by two consultants in old age psychiatry within the Hull and East Riding Community Health NHS Trust.
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