Sometimes good things really do come for free!

Mary Ni Lochlainn is an Academic Clinical Fellow in Geriatric Medicine. BGS Junior Members’ Representative and on the BGS Trainee’s Council. She works at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich @younggeris. Her email is

picture-for-bgs-website-mary-ni-lochlainnMembership of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) is open to all medical students, student nurses,
student therapists, nurses and AHPs in a preceptor year and Foundation Year doctors and is completely FREE!

I joined the BGS as a first year medical student and thus have benefited from free membership for quite a few years now, and would highly recommend it to all those who are interested in the healthcare of older adults.

You do not have to have your mind set on specialising in geriatric medicine; as we all know the proportion of people older than 65 is growing faster than any other age group (WHO, 2002). In the United Kingdom the population aged 65 years and older is set to increase by two-thirds to reach 15.8 million in 2031 (Wise, 2010). Geriatric medicine is set to become the largest and most exciting specialty in medicine! Beyond that, healthcare professionals in all other specialties (medical, surgical and the rest) will be dealing with more and more older adults in their services. Continue reading

BGS Rising Star Awards – Now Open For Applications!

Each year The British Geriatrics Society bestows two Rising Star Awards, one for
research contributions that have translated into, or are in the process of being translated into, improvements to care of older people. The second is for clinical quality or work project that demonstrates that the nominee has improved the care of older people with frailty in their locality.  Applications are now open and full details are at the end of this blog. Below two past Rising Star Award Winners discuss their careers, and how winning the award has benefitted them.

Daniel Davis, Rising Star Award Winner 2015

IMG_1899_Daniel Best One“I joined the BGS as a medical student and ever since, the Society has played a part in my professional development. From a medical student elective grant to go to Johns Hopkins, through to two Specialist Registrar Travel Grants (I was an Specialist Registrar for 9 years….) to gain skills in epidemiology (with Ken Rockwood in Halifax, Nova Scotia) and biostatistics (with Carole Dufouil at INSERM, Paris), each time, assistance from the BGS has led to career-changing opportunities. Continue reading

BGS Lifetime Achievement Award 2015

IMG_1696Margaret Roberts is the 2015 recipient of the British Geriatrics Society’s Marjory Warren Lifetime Achievement Award.

In this blog Ed Gillett, Communications Manager at the BGS, meets Margaret to discuss her career, the Society and her views on geriatric medicine.

Margaret Roberts’ career spans over 40 years as a doctor in the NHS: from 1980 until her retirement in 2014, she worked as as a Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine, latterly with a special interest in Stroke Medicine, based at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. She’s also been an active contributor to the British Geriatrics Society at local and national levels throughout her career.

In the citation for her award nomination, submitted by BGS Scotland, Margaret’s energy, skills and enthusiasm are described as “essential to the medical advisory structure, NHS medical management, clinical effectiveness and governance, to medical education and to many professional bodies”.

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BGS Movement Disorders Prize 2015

BGS Logo CMYKEarlier this year, Donald McVinnie, Elliot Gemmell and Emma Fisher were annnounced as the winners of the 2015 BGS Movement Disorders Essay Prize. Each of them has written a short blog about their experiences.

Donald McVinnie

Participating in the BGS Movement Disorder Prize has been a very valuable experience. As medical students we learn all about the science behind the disease, how to diagnose and manage the symptoms, and consider the impact upon patients. However the BGS prize encourages a much deeper understanding of the patient experience.

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Stand by me: dementia care in Liverpool

brenda_staggEd Gillett speaks to Brenda Stagg, the winner of the BGS’s  Special Medal – an award which was inaugurated in 2015 to celebrate the achievements of people who are not members of the Society, who promote the health and wellbeing of older people throughout society.

It’s a warm summer afternoon in Toxteth, and I’m standing in a church hall breaking out my best disco moves to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. It’s fair to say I hadn’t planned for the day to turn out quite like this.

I’m in Liverpool to meet Brenda Stagg, a Dementia Support Manager at Alzheimer’s Society: she has recently been awarded the 2015 British Geriatrics Society Special Medal in recognition of her work with older people across the city, and I’m here to find out more about her work.

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BGS Rising Star Award: Daniel Davis

BGS Logo CMYKDaniel Davis is an SpR in Geriatric Medicine on the NW Thames Rotation, spending 50% of his research time as a Clinical Research Fellow at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL.

Daniel is the joint winner, alongside Roman Romero-Ortuno, of the BGS Rising Star Award 2015.

I have been a SpR in geriatric medicine since 2006, the longer route being through pursuit of an academic career alongside clinical training. My core interest is the relationship between delirium and/or acute illness and trajectories of cognitive decline in large population-representative studies. These are complex relationships which need a wide range of research, from the biological underpinnings through to the implications for health care policy.

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BGS Rising Star Award: Roman Romero-Ortuno

BGS Logo CMYKRoman Romero-Ortuno is a Consultant Geriatrician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Roman was jointly awarded the 2015 BGS Rising Star award; in this blog he discusses his research on operationalisations of frailty in older adults and integration of care.

I am honoured to be one of the recipients of the 2015 British Geriatrics Society (BGS) Rising Star Award. I am delighted that my research contributions have been deemed to have potential for translation into improvements to the care of older people.

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Bones and a reflection on training opportunities

I have to admit, bones do play a key role in my life, not only do they allow me to get about, safely protecting my internal organs, balancing my calcium and providing me with a ready supply of haemopoetic cells, but bones also provide the ‘back-bone’ to my working life both as an orthogeriatrician and as an epidemiologist.

I remember when I was starting out as a SpR in geriatrics; I had that feeling of wanting to ‘do some research’, but was in that all too common position of wondering ‘where do I start’? That year a course was advertised in the BGS newsletter ‘Osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases’. I was just beginning to develop an interest in orthogeriatric medicine and this residential course, run at one of the Oxford colleges and specifically aimed at trainees, offered a comprehensive overview of osteoporosis biology, treatments, monitoring, and radiology, as well as topics such as renal osteodystrophy, primary hyperparathyroidism and Paget’s disease. It proved a really educationally valuable few days and the course manual provided an excellent reference resource for a number of years.

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Bupa Foundation grant makes up to £20,000 available for one year pilot projects

The Bupa Foundation’s Philip-Poole Wilson Seed Corn fund is now open for applications.  It is aimed at healthcare professionals involved in research or university based researchers with an interest in health or social care.

It aims to support pilot work, or to bring together a group of people to work on a proposal.

The criteria for applications are broad but the Foundation suggests the following domains, several of which are pertinent to the fields of ageing and geriatric medicine.

• achieving sustained behaviour changes in relation to smoking, diet, physical activity and/or alcohol consumption
• facilitating wellbeing and preventing mental ill health
• improving patient decision-making through, for example, shared decision-making interventions
• improving the design of community health activities by using new technologies to cost-effectively organise and interpret health outcome data

Further details can be found online at  The deadline for short-form applications is 6th July, 2012.