BGS Deputy Honorary Secretary role – should I apply?

Dr Shane O’Hanlon is a consultant in geriatric medicine. He was Deputy Honorary Secretary from 2015-16 and is the current Honorary Secretary of the British Geriatrics Society.

If you’re thinking “That’s not for me” then allow me to persuade you otherwise! We are all extremely busy in our clinical roles and loath to take on anything extra. But some opportunities offer more in return for the time you invest, and this is one.

Ok, why should I even think about applying?

We need you! The BGS counts on its members to help shape the future of the society; across the four nations hundreds of people help out every year in varying ways. One of the nice things about this role is that you get to know who does what all across the UK, and you support the Hon Sec (who is the lynchpin) in helping to make sure that the work flows to and from the right people. This often involves inviting people to respond on behalf of the BGS to policy consultations from bodies such as NICE, the GMC and the Royal Colleges. Continue reading

Social media in geriatrics

Katherine Walesby is an ST5 and is the BGS Trainees Committee Communications Representative. She tweets at @kewdocshutterstock_134112389

Over recent years, the popularity of social media has spiralled. Not merely amongst celebrities and news channels, but also within the medical profession. It is often wrongly associated as being of “no use to the medical profession” or something that “should be avoided”.

I hope to convince you, if not to embrace it yourself, that it can be a valuable asset within medicine and particularly within our speciality. It is something that many geriatricians and the British Geriatrics Society are harnessing professionally for education, learning and disseminating key messages promoting care for older people. Continue reading

What role can social media play in healthcare?

Victoria Betton is a social media & mental health PhD researcher, Deputy Director at Leeds & York NHS PFT. She tweets at @VictoriaBetton and blogs at digitalmentalhealth.co.ukbetton

Social media is the term used for online platforms which enable people to consume information as well as produce their own content – from 140 character updates on Twitter through to sharing photos on Instagram, and much more besides. Whether we use social networks or not, they are increasingly incorporated into day to day life, and not just for younger people:  Age UK report that the number of 55-64 year old internet users creating a social network profile rose by almost half last year, and many use social networking to keep in touch with family and friends and to reduce social isolation. Continue reading

Cyber-care – The benefits and drawbacks of new technology

A conference report from the BGS Spring Meeting in Belfast, by Liz Gill.telecare

The benefits – and some drawbacks – of new technology was the subject of the BGS Special Interest Group for Telecare and Telehealth where Dr Frank Miskelly, consultant physician at Imperial College London, had this key message for his audience. “The secret is to look at the problem and then ask how you can use technology to solve it.  Too often you get companies who want to sell you some kit saying ‘we’ve got the solution, can you now find the problem?’” Continue reading