Dr Simon Conroy is Head of Geriatric Medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester, Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Leicester and an Associate Editor for Age and Ageing journal.
Acute care for older people appears to be the topic de jour. The increasing number of older people attending acute care should not be a surprise given the demographic pressures, yet many hospitals still appear slightly taken aback by the increasing age, complexity and number of patients accessing urgent care.
A range of efforts to reduce hospital attendances do not appear to have attenuated the patterns over recent years. GPs are being performance managed on avoidable admission, emergency departments are beholden to the 4-hour wait and in-patient teams are hounded on a daily basis to discharge yet more patients.
Is there a better way? We hope so. At a forthcoming conference hosted by the Royal College of Physicians, we will bring together relevant stakeholders to share ideas and thoughts about how to make things better. Importantly the speakers represent all stages of the patient pathway.