By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 16 October 2013 Updated: 17/10 09:51
CONCERNS have been raised about the care provided by a psychiatrist working with vulnerable older people in Redditch.
A review has been launched by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust to look into the potential problems with medical assessments conducted by an old age psychiatrist who has worked in the borough since 2006.
The Trust was alerted to the issue after being made aware of concerns about the assessment and diagnosis of dementia in relation to a Redditch patient.
Having investigated the case, bosses concluded the process that led to the diagnosis was not thorough enough and began to review all of the consultant's case notes over the past seven years.
In a statement released this week, the Trust said the review had 'raised some doubts' about whether a thorough process had been followed for every patient, with issues around review plans for those who were being treated for dementia and other mental health problems. The psychiatrist worked with people over the age of 65 to assess and manage their mental health, as well as a small number of people under 65 thought to be suffering from dementia.
An advice line has been set up for any patients or loved ones to call if they have any concerns about the care they have received, while bosses have also moved to reassure residents they have no concerns about other members of the team, other psychiatrists or the early intervention dementia service.
A spokesman said: "The Trust wants to ensure that all of its patients receive the highest standard of assessment and treatment and will be taking steps to ensure this is the case in Redditch.
"GPs in the area have been contacted where there are simple checks needed about a patient’s medication and also asked if they feel it would be helpful for their patients to be reviewed by a specialist. A small number of former patients have been contacted directly and all those who are still under the care of the team have had their care reassessed by a different doctor.
"Although still employed by the trust the consultant is not currently at work and the Trust is following the national framework which is in place for investigating matters concerning medical staff. This involves seeking the appropriate advice from the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS)."
Dr Bernie Coope, associate medical director and review leader, added: "This is about providing anyone who has accessed old age psychiatry services in Redditch with the reassurance that their care and treatment is suitable.
"We would urge anyone who has concerns or would like to discuss their situation with a professional to contact the advice line."
Residents can call 01905 681484 from 8am to 6pm weekdays or e-mail AdviceLine@hacw.nhs.uk and where appropriate arrangements will be made for a consultant to call back.
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