David Oliver is a Consultant Geriatrician in Berkshire and a visiting Professor in Medicine of Older People at City University, London. He is President Elect of the British Geriatrics Society. He writes on the King’s Fund blog about their paper, launched today.
By 2030, one in 5 people in England will be over 65 and at that age, men will on average live till 88 and women till 91. This population ageing shouldn’t constantly be catastrophised with language like “burden” “timebomb” or “tsunami”. In fact, it represents a victory for improved societal conditions and for modern healthcare – preventative and curative. Indeed, well into older age, most people report high levels of happiness, health and wellbeing and even over 80, only half say they live with life limiting long-term conditions.
However, despite the “upside” of population ageing, we need to be realistic about its inevitable implications for health and care services. Continue reading →
Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant Geriatrician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and is the workforce planning lead for the BGS. She tweets at @geri_baby
I like to think that as a jobbing geriatrician I have a fairly pragmatic attitude towards guidelines. I know that they exist, but I also know that they are not always directly applicable to a frail older person with multiple morbidities, so I’ll look at what they say with a hint of scepticism, and use them when they help me to provide the best care. Extrapolating from this, I tend to see NICE as an organisation that is more for other people than me. I know that the work they do is vital in standardizing care, bringing together groups of experts to decide on treatment pathways and helping to make decisions on which drugs to give when. I have even attended a stakeholder group for the preliminary stages of the guidance they are planning to issue for social care.
Professor Paul Knight is Director of Medical Education and a Consultant Geriatrician for the Elderly at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow. He is also President of the British Geriatrics Society.
The Westminster Government’s response to the second Francis Report was published as I was preparing to go to Harrogate for the BGS biannual conference and co-incidentally where I was due to speak on what the BGS had done and would do “After Francis”. So it wasn’t until a few days later that I managed to read in detail “Hard Truths. The Journey to Putting Patients First”. Continue reading →
Prof David Oliver is a Consultant Geriatrician in Berkshire and a visiting Professor in Medicine of Older People at City University, London. He is President Elect of the British Geriatrics Society.
Twenty-first century health and care services face a number of existential challenges. I do say “challenges” rather than use apocalyptic language of crisis and catastrophe but face them head on, we need to respond with constructive solutions. These challenges are universal in developed and developing nations – even those spending more per capita on healthcare and have been widelyacknowledged. Continue reading →
Emma Solomon OBE is Managing Director of Digital Unite, an independent organisation that helps people, particularly older people, to understand and use computers, the internet and other digital technology.
image by southerntabitha
Having the skills to use digital technology is a must-have in today’s modern society. It can save us time and money, make us feel better connected, less lonely and better informed.
For the citizen as a patient, having digital skills means being able to book and cancel doctors’ appointments more easily, order repeat prescriptions, improve the access to information and services to support their own care and that of others.
By 2015, the NHS Commissioning Board aims to guarantee every patient the opportunity of online access to their own medical records. This is an ambitious target made even more challenging because today in 2013, many older people still either aren’t online or don’t have good enough digital skills to use such a service. Continue reading →