“Frailty is the most problematic expression of population ageing”

Dr Diarmuid O’Shea is a Consultant Geriatrician at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.  The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the clinical syndrome of frailty, how it can be considered and effectively managed as a long-term condition.

One of the greatest challenges posed by an ageing population is the ability of healthcare professionals to understand, recognise and manage vulnerable older adults at increased risk of adverse healthcare outcomes. This frailty syndrome is age associated and is most marked in among those over 75 years of age. The older person showing signs of frailty is at increased risk of long term institutional care, hospitalisation, prolonged length of hospital stay and mortality, and will require specific interventions that span several health and social care services to enable them to live well for their remaining years. Continue reading

The traditional Multidisciplinary Meeting: Still the Gold Standard or Losing its Lustre?

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.team

Since leaving my role as national clinical director at the end of last year, I have found myself seconded for day a week to the NHS Emergency Care Support Team and to the Kings Fund alongside my clinical day job. In this new capacity, I have gone into a number of busy acute hospitals or health economies to review care pathways for older people. It has been fascinating to meet so many hard-working colleagues and to see the similarities and differences in how older people’s services are delivered. A key focus in these visits is ensuring that – whatever the issues may be with external delays waiting for “step down” community services or social care – we do, as hospital teams whatever we can internally to minimise delays in our own care pathways. Continue reading