Medical Practice

Psychogeriatric Ward for Mentally Disturbed Elderly Patients

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.3.5880.574 (Published 15 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:574
  1. D. M. Prinsley

    Abstract

    The operation is described of a special psychogeriatric ward of 23 beds set up in 1967 to provide treatment for mentally disturbed elderly patients who could not be kept in a general ward or at home. The unit is in a predominantly geriatric hospital which serves a population of 340,000 and in the four and a half years reviewed 600 patients were admitted. Half of the admissions were emergencies. A consultant geriatrician was in charge and the nursing staff were general trained. The number of beds was found to be adequate for the demand. Few patients had to be transferred to a psychiatric hospital, but, since the mental disturbance was often associated with severe illness and the patients were old, the death rate was high. The nursing staff have found the work interesting and stimulating.

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