Gertrude blows away the cobwebs: a report from the BGS Northern Ireland meeting

8420255250_a7c655a611_oCiarán Trolan is a Locum Consultant Geriatrician at Ulster Hospital in Dundonald; he tweets at @ciarantrolan.

Storm Gertrude blew over the country on the morning of this joint meeting of the NIBGS and RCPsych Faculty of Old Age. Trees and power lines may have been down, but spirits were up: the renewal of a new year and the drawing out of the dark winter nights permeated the meeting room. There were lively minds, and plenty of enthusiasm to tackle the issues that matter to the sister specialties of geriatric medicine and psychiatry of old age. The bars of the Crumlin Road Gaol venue could not imprison the gathering’s cordiality.

Continue reading

Substance misuse in older people

aaIn this blog, Professor Ilana Crome offers an introduction to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ new information guide on substance misuse in older people; an editorial about the guide  by Prof. Crome appears in the July issue of Age and Ageing.

In 2015 the Royal College of Psychiatrists produced an Information Guide on the management of older substance misusers. This is in recognition of the rising numbers of older people in our communities and the increase in their use of substances. Older people appear as motivated to reduce or abstain – if not more so – than their younger counterparts. The health care system is unprepared for this problem partly because it is an invisible epidemic.

Continue reading

A perfect union of mind and body?

Clifton_House,_Belfast,_July_2010_(04)Mark Roberts is vice chair of the BGS Northern Ireland Council, and a Consultant in Acute and Geriatric Medicine. In this blog, he looks at the recent joint meeting hosted by the BGS and the Royal College of Psychiatrists

The annual joint meeting between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the BGS in Northern Ireland passed again with plenty of food for thought, the amiable atmosphere between two closely linked specialties proving once more a useful foundation stone for a good meeting.  The dignified Edwardian surroundings of Clifton House in Belfast provided the backdrop for a joint sandwich lunch followed by our respective business meetings.  Thereafter an energetic programme was presented by both Geriatricians and Psychiatrists of Old Age to the mixed audience.  Those engaged in the mysterious art of Psychiatry showed their class and hospitality by giving us Geriatricians the boardroom whilst shoe-ing themselves into the ‘attic space’ for their business meeting.

Continue reading