Frailsafe is growing…

Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant physician at University Hospital Birmingham and is the Director of Workforce for the BGS. She tweets at @geri_babyfrailSafeLogo

Sometimes, when you are closely involved with something it can be hard to see how far you have come until you stop and take a look back. In February I wrote about how the checklist to improve the care of older people living with frailty had developed from a ‘good idea’ into a multi-organisational collaborative project funded by a Health Foundation grant. Tom Downes has also previously blogged about the project.

Pilot sites have been selected, agreements signed, and multidisciplinary teams chosen within hospitals to take the work forward. Continue reading

How additional diagnostic tools add to the clinical dementia diagnosis

Anouk Meijs did her internship in epidemiology at the department of Geriatric medicine of the Radboud University Medical Center and is now working as an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands. She has recently been published in Age and Ageing journal.dementia diagnostic tools

Although Alzheimer’s disease makes up the bulk of dementia diagnoses, many other forms of dementia exist as well. Establishing the correct dementia diagnosis is important for treatment but can be difficult. Therefore, we use additional diagnostic tests such as brain scans and lumbar punctures, but it is not really known what benefits these tests – that always come with costs and patient burden – have to offer in daily practice. Continue reading

The Red Flag tool for diagnosing Motor Neurone Disease

Jennifer Bedford of the Motor Neurone Disease Association announces their new tool, Red Flag, for supporting GPs to diagnose Motor Neurone Disease. mndaLogo

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a devastating progressive degenerative disease of the motor neurones. Whilst it is rare, with a prevalence of 5-7 per 100,000, GPs can expect to see 1-2 cases in their career; and thus  important that awareness of it is raised. Continue reading

Recognising delirium in frail hospital inpatients

Kathy Whittamore is a clinical researcher working as part of the Medical Crises in Older People programme at the University of Nottingham. She recently completed her MPhil looking at ways of recognising dementia in acute hospital inpatients. shutterstock_66156211

Before becoming a clinical researcher, I worked for some time as a health care assistant on a psychiatric assessment unit. Despite working at  the ‘coal face’ of a mental health ward, I was never told what delirium was, its risk factors, its causes and – perhaps most importantly – how to recognise it.

Since 2008, the Medical Crises in Older People (MCOP) research programme at the University of Nottingham has led a workstream devoted to better understanding the mental health problems of older patients on acute medical wards. When I began working as a researcher on the project I was educated in how to identify both delirium and dementia, but the more I learned the more I realised how many other healthcare professionals where not aware of what delirium was or how to recognise it. Delirium can be difficult to identify in older patients because it presents in a variety of different ways and can be difficult to distinguish from more long-term cognitive impairments such as dementia. Continue reading