Announcing Eileen Burns as President Elect of the BGS

The British Geriatrics Society is pleased to announce that Dr Eileen Burns has been elected its twenty-first President Elect. Dr Burns will succeed Professor David Oliver when he assumes the President’s mantle at the BGS Annual General Meeting in October.EileenBurns

Eileen has been a geriatrician in Leeds for twenty-two years, was clinical director for a large teaching hospital department in the first decade of the noughties and is currently clinical lead for integration in Leeds. She is well known amongst those BGS members who have been active on the Society’s various committees, having served on several of these over the years. She currently sits on the Policy and Communications Committee and she has contributed to numerous consultations on behalf of the Society. She has also served as Chairman of the Community Geriatrics Special Interest Group for many years, presiding over one very successful stand alone community geriatrics event and several parallel sessions on the subject at our scientific meetings. Continue reading

The British Geriatrics Society welcomes the NICE Delirium Quality Standards

Duncan Forsyth is Consultant Geriatrician in Cambridge and was a specialist adviser to the Quality Standards Development Group.shutterstock_20378521

On July 24th 2014, NICE published its Delirium Quality Standards to assist health and social care drive-up the quality of delirium management in hospital and care home settings. The standards cover: assessment; prevention; use of antipsychotic medication; communicating the diagnosis; information and support to those who have delirium and their carers. Delirium is probably the commonest complication of hospitalisation in older people and has a high prevalence in those in long-term care. Continue reading

When simple is no longer simple

Lawla Law has recently published her paper Effects of functional tasks exercise on older adults with cognitive impairment at risk of Alzheimer’s disease: a randomised controlled trial in Age and Ageing journal. This week she described the findings of the trial on the OUP blog:

Cognitive impairment is a common problem in older adults, and one which increases in prevalence with age with or without the presence of pathology. Brain AgingPersons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have difficulties in daily functioning, especially in complex everyday tasks that rely heavily on memory and reasoning. This imposes a potential impact on the safety and quality of life of the person with MCI as well as increasing the burden on the care-giver and overall society. Individuals with MCI are at high risk of progressing to Alzheimer’s diseases (AD) and other dementias, with a reported conversion rate of up to 60-100% in 5-10 years. These signify the need to identify effective interventions to delay or even revert the disease progression in populations with MCI.

Continue reading

Dyson’s Law and the Medical Registrar: A frontline view

This is a follow-up to Dr Aroras’ earlier blog about the recent legislations surrounding Do Not Resuscitate [DNR] orders. Dr Suthahar, who is a final year geriatric registrar, reflects on the immediate impact of the legislation on the wards and the acute general take.shutterstock_139322513

They say change comes slowly to the NHS… Think of the time it takes for the latest NICE guidance, CQUINs, newest drug or quality measures to filter down to the frontlines of clinical work. However in one stroke Lord Dyson in his landmark ruling on DNR orders and the legal necessity to communicate the DNR order to the patient or family members, has effectively changed clinical practice overnight. Continue reading

Physician Associates in Geriatric medicine

Dr Natalie Powell is a Consultant in Acute and Geriatric Medicine at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. She tweets at @NPowellNataliephysician assistants

Looking back I wonder how I ever coped without our Physician Associates (PAs).  Still a relatively new role in the NHS, PAs have been working in the United States for over 40 years.  They work to the medical model and are holistic practitioners with a variety of skills ideally suited to caring for older people. They are able to provide continuity for patient care on the wards; a familiar face for patients, relatives and ward staff to get to know.  They go that extra mile to make sure older people get the care and attention they deserve. Continue reading

Better care for older people

Niall Dickson is Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, sets out how the professional regulator is responding to the needs of doctors when treating older patients. Follow the GMC at @gmcuktaster week

Healthcare is very largely a business for the treatment and care of older people. This is a reality to which not many of us have really woken up.

While there is much talk of long-term conditions and co-morbidities, much of health service delivery and the public’s perception of what an effective healthcare system should be doing remains focused on heroic interventions, lives saved, and patients cured.

We bear some responsibility for this, as the regulator with responsibility for setting educational and professional standards. We have certainly overseen practice which has struggled to adapt to the different needs of a different generation of older people. All too often older people fall through the cracks of organisational and professional silos. We will always need specialist care but we also need to reinvent the generalist physician with the status and authority to co-ordinate care and treatment, and ensure that sufficient attention is given to patients’ mental health and well-being alongside their physical health. Continue reading

What actually is frailty?

Chris Beech is a Nurse Consultant at NHS Forth Valley, Falkirk. She is member of the BGS Specialist Nurse and Allied Health Professionals Special Interest Group.ANAM2B

Frailty is all around us, especially when you take a quick peek at the recent literature on working with older people. It is important that nurses working with older people in all care settings are aware of what frailty is, what the implications are if someone is identified as living with frailty and what, if anything, can be done about it.

We all have a picture in our head of a frail person, the problem is that there is a big chance that this picture is a different image to the one the person sitting next to you is thinking of. It is important therefore to have the ability to put an objective view point into play. Continue reading

July issue of Age and Ageing journal out now

The July 2014 issue of Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society is out now.

A full table of contents is available here, with editorials, research papers, reviews, short reports, case reports book reviews and more. Hot topics this issue include:

  • Medical education and ageing
  • Organisation of acute hospital care for frail older people
  • Falls prevention in secondary care
  • Screening for delirium
  • Management of acute coronary syndrome

The Editor’s View can be read here.

This issue’s free access papers are:

Don’t let the glut of pilot projects distract from patient safety

David Oliver is a Consultant Geriatrician in Berkshire and a visiting Professor in Medicine of Older People at City University, London. He is President Elect of the British Geriatrics Society. He recently wrote for the Health Service Journal blog on the subject of pilot studies, or what he calls “serial pilotitis”. A syndrome with a secondary complication leading to the long term disability: “projectitis”.

Commenting on Simon Stevens’ speech at the NHS Confederation conference, Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust, says: “His call for a systematic approach to evaluating new models of care was welcome in a system that relies too heavily on small, fragmented and one-off pilots.”

I couldn’t agree more. I have visited dozens of acute hospitals and health economies to advise or to learn.

Everywhere I meet committed collaborative individuals striving to improve care for their local population – though reflexively resorting to protecting organisational or professional interests under cost, performance and regulatory pressures.

Continue reading

Innovating the Delivery of Care for Older People – My Thoughts

Daniel Sommer is a Foundation Year 2 Doctor at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He is an aspiring Geriatrician. He tweets at @danielf90 Web

Another Monday morning at work, and I was looking forward to another week of inspiration with my fantastic boss in interface geriatrics as part of my hospital’s OPAL (Older Peoples’ Assessment & Liaison) team and in our Older Peoples Rapid Access Clinic. Before I got going, I undertook a cursory check of my e-mails and I saw something slightly out of the ordinary – an e-mail from Professor David Oliver (of British-Geriatrics-Society-President-elect fame). “What are you doing Wednesday?” he asks. “Come to my conference at The King’s Fund!” he beckons. My consultant’s response when I asked her permission was “You’d better have already said yes!”. Off I went. Continue reading