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

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Low Expectations – Attitudes on choice, care and community for people with dementia in care homes

Jane Buswell is Chair of the BGS Specialist Nurse and Senior Practitioners GroupCapture2

A report by the Alzheimer’s Society, with foreword provided by the actor, Kevin Whately, indicates that along with the usual examples of both good and bad care being delivered around the country, expectations are worryingly low among people in care homes and their relatives, as well as the staff working in the care homes.

With 80 per cent of residents living in care homes having either dementia or significant memory problems, says the Alzheimer’ Society, providing good care for these people should be the primary focus of the care home sector. More needs to be done to raise expectations about the quality of life for people with dementia in care homes because lower expectations will always be self-fulfilling.

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Francis Report – A Nursing Perspective

Jane Buswell is Chair of the BGS Specialist Nurse and Senior Practitioners Group

On reading the Francis report one might be misled into thinking that the report points to nurses as having sole responsibility for delivering compassionate care and that the only professionals delivering care within the NHS are nurses and doctors. It is unfortunate that the significant role of our Allied Health Professional colleagues within the multi-disciplinary team, and their potential for leadership, has not been recognised in this wide ranging and seminal report.

It would be wrong to look at the individual professional recommendations in isolation. Only 33 of the 209 recommendations are specific to nursing. However, many of these are addressing the same issues of leadership, training, regulation, professional accountability and the roles of our professional bodies, all of which apply equally to doctors, and all other professionals within the NHS. Continue reading