Geriatric medicine in New Zealand: the patients

2234656851_00f307137b_zIn the first part of this two-part blog, Vicky Henstridge looks at the patients she’s cared for since moving from the UK to New Zealand.

Today marks exactly one year since we arrived in our new home town, and I am in a reflective mood. There are many differences between medicine in the UK and New Zealand, but those between primary care and geriatrics in the two are perhaps most striking. The semi-private nature of General Practice is something that on the surface seems abhorrent, as we Poms still hold dear to the ideals of a healthcare system free at the point of use.

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Unnecessary ward moves – bad for patients; bad for healthcare systems

Unnecessary ward moves are becoming increasingly common and have adverse consequences both for patients and for hospitals argue the authors of an editorial published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Societyshutterstock_91948466

Prof. McMurdo and Dr Witham from the University of Dundee, are drawing attention to the practice of ‘boarding’ patients – moving individuals from their own base specialty ward to other wards to accommodate influxes of new patients.  This practice is increasingly common, especially amongst older patients, despite the fact that changes of environment increase the risk of falls and delirium, problems that are associated with risk of serious injury and increased death rates. Continue reading

The toxic cocktail that leads to patient complaints – how can the NHS line its stomach?

Dr Claire Dow is Consultant Physician at Barts Health NHS Trust. She tweets at @ClaireDow1

Think not of what you can do for your complainants, but what your complainants can do for you. (Apologies to President Kennedy.)shutterstock_112048880

At the recent BGS/RCP conference on Acute Care of Older People, we were privileged to hear Dame Julie Mellor talk about patient complaints from her perspective as Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

For an audience composed mainly of Geriatricians and Acute Physicians, it came as no surprise that she felt that hospitals are poorly equipped to deal with the older people who have multiple conditions. Continue reading