Calls have been made to improve regular input from psychology services on NHS wards for older people with mental illness.
A new report by the Mental Welfare Commission’s shows mixed findings from people on 23 of these hospital wards across Scotland.
The environment in almost every one had improved since the last visit in 2015, the report said, with these often in new purpose-built facilities.
But only seven of the 23 wards reported regular input from psychology services.
Pressure on beds elsewhere also meant wards were increasingly accepting patients with a diagnosis of dementia only.
But the commission said it is clear that mixing both groups of patients does not meet their needs.
The report also suggested the decision to move patients from general adult mental health community and inpatient services to older age services was often made without involving the patient.
Alison Thomson, interim chief executive at the Mental Welfare Commission, said: “It was great to see significant improvements in the physical environment of most of the wards.
“And the positive impact of therapeutic activity to patients’ health and well-being where it was offered was also absolutely clear.
“It can transform a person’s self-worth, and should be available on every ward.”
She added: “A major part of mental health care is psychological therapies, which help people make positive changes in their lives.
“We were disappointed to find that only seven of the 23 wards reported regular input from psychology and we are asking for this to be reviewed and increased.”
The commission interviewed almost 100 patients and 23 relatives or carers, with a further 50 patient files under review.
Ms Thomson said: “Our recommendations for change include a call that all wards ensure that people with dementia are not admitted inappropriately to these wards just because there is pressure on beds elsewhere.
“We are also asking for clear protocols for patients moving from adult to old age mental health community and inpatient services, with an assurance that decisions are not based on arbitrary age limits.”