About drohanlon


Challenging the depiction of delirium in the media

The media’s portrayal of vulnerable elder people as ‘perpetrators of assaults’ shows us just how far we still have to go.

Dr James Woods is a registrar in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine in South East Scotland. He tweets at @jmwoods87

Earlier this week BBC Radio 5 Live ran a piece with corresponding BBC website article reporting on figures obtained from an NHS Protect report on physical assaults against NHS staff in England. The headline and corresponding analysis focused on patients over 75 years old as the most frequent ‘perpetrators of assaults’ against NHS staff. If you care about the healthcare needs of older people and want to see them treated with dignity and respect (which if you are reading this blog you probably do) then this makes for distressing reading. Continue reading

An Artist’s exploration into Frailty in older people

Katy Shorttle is a GP trainee in Cambridge and part time artist. She tweets @ArtistKaty. Here she tells us about her art project on frailty, using teacups to conceptualise case studies of older people with frailty.


teacupsMy frailty awareness art project comprises a set of 15 individual sculptures, each with accompanying case studies, with the primary aim of raising the awareness of the experiences of frailty in older people. I have been able to combine my GP training with the completion of a Masters in Illustration, and completed the project, my final MA Illustration project, after spending a year working as a GP trainee in the Department of Medicine for the Elderly in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. During this time and my previous posts in primary and secondary care I have observed how changes in the structure of families and communities can mean intergenerational relations are less common, or less well preserved, and the plight of a frail older person can go unseen. The factors contributing to frailty in older people, such as reduced mobility, shortness of breath, frequent falls and frequent hospital admissions have a huge impact on individuals, yet the resulting suffering often goes unspoken, or unrecognised outside the medical domain.

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Top 10 things we can do to improve care for older people right now

Mitsuko Nakajima (CMT1), Mary Ní Lochlainn (FY1), James Maguire (Registrar), Myuran Kaneshamoorthy (CT2), Jen Pigott (CT2), James Manger (CT2), Elizabeth Lonsdale-Eccles (CT2), Nivedika Theivendran (CT2), Laura Hill (CT2), Maevis Tan (CT2), Thomas Bell (ST3), Mark Lethby (CT2) & Alvin Shrestha (Clinical Fellow).

On February 6th-7th the BGS (British Geriatrics Society) Trainees Weekend took place in London. At one of the workshops, a group of us looked at how we can influence our colleagues to improve care for older people and also how we can conduct QI projects in non-geriatric settings. The workshop aimed to empower doctors who were not yet on a geriatric medicine training scheme to make a difference, especially where patients were unlikely to be seen by a geriatrician.

At the end of the workshop, the group put their heads together to come up with a Top 10 list, of things we can do to improve care for older people right now. Here are the results:

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Book Review: Essential geriatrics (Third Edition) by Henry Woodford

Shane O’Hanlon is a geriatrician in Reading, and Digital Media Editor & Honorary Deputy Secretary at the British Geriatrics Society. He tweets @drohanlon

As a trainee I often dreamed of a single book that would cover everything a geriatrician needed to know! In reality, I had to consult a wide variety of volumes depending on my question so my shelf was weighed down with Lecture Notes, Case Histories, Law & Ethics, Physiology, Cardiology, etc.9781910227657

The first edition of Essential Geriatrics was published during my training, but somehow didn’t register on my radar. That text has since been updated and revised, and now a third edition has just been published.
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Improving cancer care for older people

Dr Shane O’Hanlon is a consultant geriatrician with the Macmillan COCOC team (Comprehensive Care for Older People with Cancer) at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. He tweets @drohanlon

Today is World Cancer Day, and is a good opportunity to take stock of where we are with cancer care for older people.

Many people are surprised to hear that the majority of cancers are now diagnosed in people over the age of 65 years – this group is 11 times more likely to develop cancer than young adults. The incidence of cancer generally has been increasing since the 1970s, but the largest increase has been among people aged 75 years and older.

So we really should be offering excellent care to this group, and outcomes should be constantly improving. Is that what is happening?

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BGS Oncology SIG Meeting Report

Dr Lucy Dumas is a Medical Oncology Specialist trainee at the Royal Marsden.  She has just started research with Dr Susana Banerjee towards an MD degree focusing on the treatment of Gynaecological cancers in older patients.  Here she fills us in on what happened at the first ever BGS Oncology Special Interest Group meeting.

On Friday the 18th September, the inaugural meeting of an Oncology Special Interest Group, part of the British Geriatrics Society was held at the Wellcome Collection in London.  Myself and a small group of other intrepid oncologists and surgeons from around the UK were welcomed into the world of geriatrics, with the common aim of gaining a better understanding of the current status of the growing field of “Geriatric Oncology”; how outcomes for older patients may be improved.

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Strengthening the link between geriatrics and oncology

Mr Kwok-Leung Cheung is Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Consultant Breast Surgeon at Royal Derby Hospital. He is the UK National Representative for the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) and member of its Surgical Task Force and Science and Educational Committee.

As the UK National Representative of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG), I last wrote to you following our 14th Conference in October 2014. I mentioned the importance of ‘bringing the two worlds (oncology and geriatrics) together’, given our shared goals to improve the holistic care for older adults, including those with cancer.

I would like to continue to work with you as the UK specialty association in geriatrics to enhance the link between these two ‘worlds’ in the UK. Continue reading

A big week for dementia

Tom Dening is Professor of Dementia Research at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. He tweets @TomDening. Here he outlines why this week has many reasons to be a big one for dementia.

Although dementia is rarely out of the news and indeed often on the front pages of certain national papers, the start of this week (23rd February) is a biggie even by dementia standards. That’s for two reasons: one, the latest version of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge (Monday), and, two, the launch of Join Dementia Research (Tuesday). Continue reading

Free place to attend King’s Fund Conference on #dementia

this offer has now expired as places have been allocated

The British Geriatrics Society is delighted to be able to offer a complimentary place for a BGS member to attend the following conference at the King’s Fund:

Leading change in dementia diagnosis and support

Actions to inform future national strategy


Date: 24 Feb 2015
Time: 9.00am–5.00pm
Venue: The King’s Fund, London W1G 0AN
Event type: One-day conference
In return we would like you to write a blog about your experience for the BGS Blog, and to tweet your thoughts during the day.
If you are interested, contact Prof David Oliver at D.Oliver@kingsfund.org.uk