How was your BGS Autumn Meeting 2017?

David Scott is a 78 year old retiree from Teacher Education with type 2 diabetes and heart failure. In retirement he has developed a strong interest in patient engagement issues. These are engaged with via the Alzheimer’s Society, NiHR (specialist group on Ageing) Age UK and the Stem Cell Bank. He attended the BGS Autumn Meeting 2017 as a patient representative. Register for the BGS Spring Meeting, 11 – 13 April at NCC in Nottingham.

How was your BGS Autumn Meeting 2017? I enjoyed meeting a lot of people with plenty of experience and don’t the Geriatricians look young these days!  Remember that I am 78 years plus. What about that location? Very intimidating on first arrival but once in your allocated space, superb facilities. Plenty of toilets, plenty of overall space, good catering – with alternative if you didn’t mind going a bit further. Found the steps down between levels quite hard but recognise the need to do your daily exercise!  One or two smaller rooms got a bit crowded for some presentations but, in general, presentations well supported.

As I am blessed with Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Failure (pacemaker installed) and am heavily involved with the Alzheimer’s research function and NIHR (RfPB) I opted for sessions on Parkinson’s and TAVI.  After, and in between sessions, I took the liberty of speaking to delegates and had some fascinating conversations as these folks were generous with their time and free with their opinions e.g. Baroness Sally Greengross lecture opinions varied between:

  • ‘A brilliant overview based on extensive experience’ to
  • ‘Heard it all before, – nothing new’ and
  • ‘We need more accountability from the profession’

Personally, I was highly impressed by her overview because I have dabbled in a number of the bits of the whole puzzle.  The implications, it seems to me are frightening and the idea of keeping people fit to work for longer is at least practical and a worthy aim also for the quality of life at a later age. Wellness is worthwhile.

It was encouraging to find PPI elements incorporated into the Conference agenda and membership. For one thing you invited me to come and for another there was a focus albeit short, on a patient and her massive contribution in the field of Parkinson’s by the presentation of a special award.  A senior member of the Society who I interviewed (no! he interviewed me!) expressed the view that a greater PPI involvement could be a useful addition to the programme.

The messages from Roger Wong were pretty clear and he was able to bring an evidence-based approach from Canada to begin a much bigger movement in this country towards home – based personalised care. I have read of some limited experiments in the UK and it is clear that hospitals are not necessarily the best place for elderly/frail patients.

About 10 personal discussions were possible during my attendance at about half of the Conference (the latter half) which gave me much food for thought and an even more effective set of memories than the various sessions I attended (fascinating detail e.g. video clips in one of the Parkinson’s sessions – I am grateful for their time and patience.

Found the last set of sessions on Pain very useful, especially the material on drugs for pain.

Overall impressions:

  • Fantastic ‘Barrel’ of knowledge to dip into
  • High quality of presentations
  • Good range of poster presentations.
  • Sound administration.

Final question raised by a delegate –and not new I gather! Does the Society need to have a different name?

LONE RANGER.

Register for the BGS Spring Meeting, 11 – 13 April at NCC in Nottingham

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