His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, met with patients and members of the British Geriatrics Society to mark the 70th anniversary of the Society and to celebrate the vital work of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers in caring for older people with complex healthcare needs. The celebration was held at St Thomas’ Hospital last night (Monday 6 March).
The Prince of Wales has been Patron of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) for more than 20 years, having taken up the role in July 1993. His Royal Highness extended his patronage for a further five years in 2016. The BGS is the multi-disciplinary membership organisation bringing together all healthcare professionals engaged in the specialist treatment and care of older people across the UK. Founded in 1947, the society’s membership has grown considerably in recent years and now has over 3,600 members.
On arriving at St Thomas’, His Royal Highness met with frontline staff who care for older people at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals and in the local community. They included doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals who spoke to The Prince about their roles, demonstrated some of the techniques used to prevent falls, and explained how patients with dementia are treated with dignity and respect. He also met with older patients at the hospital and discussed their experiences and priorities when receiving care.
His Royal Highness then attended the anniversary reception for BGS members where he presented a BGS Special Lifetime Achievement Award to Baroness Sally Greengross. Baroness Greengross is a member of the House of Lords, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People. She received the award for her contribution to improving services for older people and her ongoing support of the Society.
Dr Eileen Burns, President of the British Geriatrics Society, commented:
“We were delighted that our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, was able to join us for our 70th anniversary celebration. Since it was founded in 1947 the BGS has grown to be a modern society in the country with over 3,600 members, who have transformed the quality of care for frail older people over the last 70 years. Our publications supporting the care of older people are widely read and we are proud to be a resource for policy makers in this area. The Prince’s attendance is testament to his continuing support for the charity, and made our celebration even more special.”