Mental health disorders, especially dementia, mood- and anxiety disorders, are among the most prevalent diseases in later life. Due to a greying European society, numbers are expected to increase over the next decades. Consequently, there is a pressing need for well-trained specialists in geriatric psychiatry across Europe in order to meet the mental health needs and to deliver a high standard of care to the aging population. In the past decades, some countries have set up specific training programs for specializing in geriatric psychiatry, whereas others did not. In order to stimulate the development of high-quality services, harmonizing specialty training across Europe will be a first step forward.
The EU stresses the need for standardizing qualifications of medical professionals to enable them to work across the EU. This workshop aims to work towards a consensus on the minimum training level required for geriatric psychiatry. We state that being able to work as an old age psychiatrist requires specific training in geriatric psychiatry and old age over and above general training in psychiatry. Therefore, discussion of opportunities to develop minimal criteria for training and practice across Europe is crucial. Taken the differences between countries into account (many countries do not provide specific training in old age psychiatry), we should finally agree on the minimal level of education and supervision, the minimum level of work experience and finally the minimal level of supervision in peer groups as a starting point.
Disclosure of interest
The author has not supplied his declaration of competing interest.