The aim of the present study was to assess the current state of provision of psychological therapies for older people in Wales. A postal questionnaire was sent to all consultant old age psychiatrists in Wales, requesting information regarding the consultant's community mental health team (CMHT) and access to psychological therapies.
A response rate of 85% was achieved: 45% of CMHTs had team members providing psychological therapy; 31% of CMHTs had access to psychological therapy via the team and also generic services. The estimated average wait for generic services was 29 weeks. There was no access to psychological therapies for 17% of CMHTs.
In some areas of Wales there is limited or no access to psychological therapies via mental health services for older people. This may represent an important unmet need. Long-term strategies, taking into account recruitment and retention, training and new ways of working, need to be implemented.
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