Older People's Community Mental Health

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health services for older people with illnesses such as dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, and also severe depression, severe anxiety, and schizophrenia.

The multi-disciplinary community services work closely with service users, carers, the voluntary sector (eg Alzheimer’s Society) and the Local Authority and GPs, to develop Care Plans to meet service users and carers individual support needs.

Who we are

Specialist Community Mental Health Teams are based in each locality around the county.

The Teams consist of: Team Manager, Consultant Psychiatrist, Staff Grade Doctors, Community Psychiatric Nurses, Specialist Social Workers, Occupational Therapy, Psychologist, Support Workers, Secretary.

What we do

The specialist Older Persons Community Teams carry out initial assessments, establish treatment plans and arrange appropriate care packages for older people with severe mental health problems.

The teams undertake the ongoing complex casework and review, through care management / care coordination.

The teams provide information, support and advice to older people and their relatives who use the service, and provide support and co-working with other agencies (eg home care, residential and nursing homes, Local Authority, etc).

The Service provides specialist individual therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other counselling services.
The Service also provides support groups for service users with problems such as dementia, and support and groups for their carers.

Support to Residential Care – Psychiatric Nurses from the Community Mental Health Team support Specialised Residential Care Homes throughout Somerset, which have been commissioned specifically by Somerset County Council to meet the long term needs of older people with dementia.

How we work

The service prioritises people with:

  • severe and complex mental health problems
  • a less severe degree of problem where there are risk behaviours or complex dynamics requiring specialist intervention
  • degree of problem where there are risk behaviours or complex dynamics requiring specialist intervention
  • marked behavioural difficulties as a consequence of mental health problems
  • complex family/carer situations requiring specialist intervention

The Teams offer either a home visit or an appointment locally at the Team base to begin assessing what a person needs. Carers and relatives are contacted so they can give their views and information.

In providing assessment, treatment and support, one Team member is identified as the lead (called a Care Coordinator) for each patient.

The Teams access packages of care (eg home care / home support / respite, etc) via the County Council Adult Social Care Service, and arrange Direct Payments and individual packages to support older people with mental health problems to maintain their independence in the community, and to access long term care where necessary and appropriate.

How you can access these services

The best first step is normally to discuss accessing the service with your GP. Your GP will undertake initial tests and arrange a referral.

Referrals to the service are normally received from a person’s GP who undertakes initial screening tests, but the service also accepts referrals from Local Authority social workers, District Nursing staff, Alzheimer’s Society, and accepts queries and referrals direct from patients and their carers.

Waiting time

All new referrals received from the GP are seen within six weeks. GPs can also make emergency referrals.

Where you can access these services

The Community Mental Health Teams are based across the county.

Mendip Older People's Mental Health Service

  • The Bridge, PrioryPark, Wells, BA5 1TJ
  • Frome Medical Centre, Enos Way, Frome, BA11 2FH

Minehead Area Older People's Community Mental Health Service

  • The Barnfield Unit, MineheadCommunityHospital, Luttrell Way, Minehead TA24 6DF

Somerset Coast Area Older People's Mental Health Services

  • Glanville House, Church Street, Bridgwater TA6 5AT
  • The Mulberry Centre, Berrow Campus, Brent Road, Berrow TA8 2JU

South Somerset Older People's Mental Health Service

  • Magnolia House, 56 Preston Road, Yeovil, BA20 2BN
  • Bracken House, Crewkerne Road, Chard, TA20 1YA
  • Ridley Day Service, WincantonHospital, Dancing Lane, Wincanton, BA9 9DQ

Taunton Deane Area Older People's Community Mental Health Service

  • Foundation House, Wellsprings Road, Taunton, TA2 7PQ
  • Stratfield House, Wellington & District Cottage Hospital, Bulford, Wellington, TA21 8QQ


Referrals are normally received from GPs or other Health or Social Care professionals following initial assessments.