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Our Mental Health Services for Older People treats older people with mental health problems (such as depression and dementia) usually in their own homes and also in our day hospital, memory clinic or North Tyneside General Hospital.

We have an open referral system and referrals can be made to the service by your GP, Social Worker, Care Home or other professional. If you are a patient staying in a medical or surgical ward at North Tyneside General Hospital you will be assessed by the liaison team. Assessments may be carried out by a nurse, social worker or a consultant psychiatrist and will look at your current mental health needs and also look at home safety. We may refer you to our occupational therapists to look more closely at any aids and adaptations to help you at home. 

Following the assessment you may be offered psychological therapies, prescribed medication or asked to attend hospital for further tests.

For some patients, staying in hospital on a mental health ward for treatment will be the best option and we have specialist facilities for this within the North Tyneside General Hospital site (Ash Court) and in North Shields (Tynemouth Court and Ward 19) . From around Autumn 2015, all of our services will be run from North Tyneside General Hospital following some modernisation and refurbishment,.

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Your treatment

The service runs across a number of wards and clinics in North Tyneside and you may be seen at one of the following:

Ash Court, North Tyneside General Hospital

Ash Court provides assessment and treatment to people predominantly over the age of 65 who have mental health needs such as depression and anxiety. On this ward you may be prescribed medication to treat your symptoms and/or participate in talking therapies or group work. 

Ward 19, North Shields

Ward 19 provides assessment and treatment for people predominantly over the age of 65 who are experiencing a period of distress or low mood in the context of their dementia causing a decline in their wellbeing. Here the nursing staff will aim to get to know you to agree a plan of care with you to reduce the effects of your symptoms on your quality of life.

Tynemouth Court, North Shields

Tynemouth Court is located on Hawkeys Lane in North Shields and cares for older people suffering from dementia. The unit primarily cares for those over the age of 65 but we do occasionally treat patients with an early onset of dementia. This setting is able to provide a higher level of care and treatment for more complex symptoms. This unit is currently for male patients only.

The memory clinic

The Priory has a memory clinic which you will be referred to through your G.P. The nursing staff will undertake a full assessment of your mental health problems and you will be reviewed by a consultant psychiatrist to develop a plan of treatment.

Here you will be given a thorough assessment of memory problems and, may be referred to hospital for a scan. The clinic is a useful source of information and we work closely with the Voluntary Sector, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust and other agencies to provide support to you and your family.

The early onset dementia service

The team-work with people under 65 years of age who concerns about their memory or have a diagnosis of dementia and live in North Tyneside. 

This team consists of a community psychiatric nurse and support worker with input from a consultant psychiatrist and a consultant psychologist. Once you have been referred by your GP, the team will work with you to develop a plan of care and treatment. 

The liaison service

The liaison team provides psychiatric support to older patients with mental health needs, such as dementia, delirium and depression, who have been admitted to North Tyneside General Hopsital for a physical health problem. The team has recently benefitted from some increased funding for a two year pilot to enhance the capacity of the service. The liaison service now consists of nurses, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, support workers and a consultant psychiatrist. In addition to seeing patients directly, the team offers training, supervision and consultancy to improve the care offered to older people in hospital with mental health problems..

In addition the team also provide psychiatric input to older patients with mental health needs who have been transferred to the Kielder Unit which is on the North Tyneside General Hospital site.

Kielder unit

The Kielder unit is a partnership between the trust and Helen McCardle Care. It provides assessment and rehabilitation for people over the age of 65 who are recovering from a medical illness that has required treatment in North Tyneside General Hospital and who also have associated mental health needs, such as a change in their memory or an increase in symptoms relating to a pre-existing diagnosis of dementia.

The psychology service

National guidelines (NICE) for how to treat mental health problems usually suggest that talking therapies are offered in conjunction with medication. The psychology team are clinical / counselling psychologists or psychological therapists who are trained to assess, formulate, and treat complex mental health problems. Psychologists and therapists input into most areas of the wider Psychiatry of old age service.

People who are offered therapy usually have the choice to be seen at home or in clinics in Wallsend or North Shields. They will meet with a therapist for an assessment initially to hear more information about what to expect from therapy. Psychologists are also running groups alongside Occupational Therapy and nursing colleagues to help people understand and manage their problems.

Sometimes it is not appropriate for people to be offered therapy – this might be because they have significant problems remembering information, or they may not feel therapy would be helpful. In this case, psychologists work closely with team members to help them provide psychologically-focused care.

Behaviour support service

Formerly known as the challenging behaviour team

The behaviour support service is a specialist service for people over the age of 65 with a diagnosis of dementia who are displaying behaviour disturbance.  This can be known as “behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia” or “behaviours that challenge”.

People under the age of 65 with a diagnosis of dementia may also access the service.

The team supports people in care homes in North Tyneside and Ward 19 and Tynemouth Court.  

There is an open referral system so people are referred by their GP, Social Worker or direct from care homes.  

The team

  • Dr Greig Ramsay, consultant psychiatrist
  • Professor Julian Hughes, consultant psychiatrist
  • Dr Simon Wilson, consultant psychiatrist
  • Dr Kartini Nor, consultant psychiatrist
  • Dr Sarah Hepburn, consultant psychiatrist
  • Dr Louisa Jackman, consultant clinical psychologist

Other members of the team include nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and support workers.

Your appointment

If you need to change your appointment please call the number given on your appointment letter to re-arrange.

Contacts

Ward 19 - North Tyneside General Hospital 

Telephone: 0344 811 8111 ext: 2410

Ash Court 


Telephone: 0191 293 4030

Tynemouth Court 


Telephone: 0191 219 6600 or 0191 2196602 or 0191 2196603

Priory Day Hospital 


Telephone: 0191 219 6649

Early Onset Dementia Service
Telephone 0191 2934060

North Shields and Tynemouth Community Mental Health Team
Telephone: 0191 293 2748

Tynemouth and Whitley Bay Community Mental Health Team
Telephone: 0191 293 2567

Liaison Service

Telephone 0191 293 2542

If you need help out of hours

If you need urgent medical advice at night or the weekend, there are out of hours contact numbers for services. In an emergency dial 999.

Useful links

Alzheimer's Society

The Royal College of Psychiatrists