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About the BGS

The British Geriatrics Society is the professional body of specialist doctors, nurses, therapists and other professionals concerned with the health care of older people in the United Kingdom.

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Vacancy: Senior BGS Role

Expressions of interest are invited for the post of Deputy Honorary Treasurer (deadline: 10 June). Deadline: Click here for job description and instructions on applying.

Age & Ageing Journal

Age and Ageing  is the British Geriatrics Society’s international scientific journal. It publishes refereed original articles and commissioned reviews on geriatric medicine and gerontology.

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Vacancy: DGM Question writing group

RCP (London) is seeking clinicians with an interest in geriatric medicine to join the question writing group for the diploma in geriatric medicine.

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BGS manifesto for the 2017 General Election

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The British Geriatrics Society's vision is for a society where all older people receive high quality, patient-centred care when and where they need it.  

In its 70th anniversary year the BGS has seven calls for action. We call on the incoming Government to take action to ensure:

  1. Sufficient investment in the NHS and social care

  2. Full integration of services

  3. A lasting solution to the current crisis in social care

  4. Greater capacity in intermediate care

  5. Access to comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) and personalised care plans for all older people with frailty, dementia and complex and multiple long-term conditions

  6. All who care for older people have the right skills

  7. The commitment and expertise of the current workforce is better recognised

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Burden of Stroke report being launched in EU Parliament admin

The Burden of Stroke in Europe research shows shocking disparities between and within countries along the entire stroke care pathway, with post-stroke support being neglected by all countries.

Brussels, May 11th 2017: Stroke Alliance for Europe is launching today a long-awaited, comprehensive overview of stroke care pathway across Europe. In front of dozens of members of EU Parliament, Jon Barrick, the President of SAFE and Valeria Caso, the President of European Stroke Organisation, jointly presented key findings from the research performed by King’s College London simultaneously in 35 European countries.

The event was co-hosted by four Members of the European Parliament, Elena Gentile (S&D), Marian Harkin (ALDE), Aldo Patriciello (EPP) and Helga Stevens (ECR).

'Even though the death rates from stroke in Europe have been falling over the last 20 years, stroke is a humanitarian catastrophe happening as we speak because more people are surviving stroke and more are being left with disabilities. The overall burden of stroke will rise dramatically in the next 20 years due to an ageing population. Decision-makers in Europe need to find better ways of fighting stroke and making life easier for stroke survivors and their families' said Dr Barrick.

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Editorial Fellowships with Age and Ageing journal

Applications are invited for a two-year Fellowship attached to the Age and Ageing Journal (one post available).

Age and Ageing has developed this editorial fellowship to benefit geriatric medicine trainees interested in the editorial process. 

The Fellow will learn about manuscript preparation, peer review, manuscript editing, journal production. The appointment will run concurrently with the Fellow’s usual geriatric medicine training programme, or period out of programme for research.

The Fellow’s roles will include involvement in general Journal business including handling submissions (under the supervision of the Editor or AE). The Fellow will be expected to write at least one editorial (with supervision); participate in some original research on the editorial process. The Fellow must also:

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BGS Clinical Quality Steering Group (CQSG) work with NHS Benchmarking to develop PREM for Older People in Hospital

Tools such as the National Audit In-patient Survey and the Family and Friends Test provide users with the opportunity to give feedback but are unlikely to capture the experiences of older people adequately.  Dr Jackie Morris and Dr Fiona Thomson were charged with designing a Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) specifically for older people in hospital. Fiona Thomson is a Consultant Geriatrician from Hull and Dr Jackie Morris is a retired Consultant Physician, Vice President of the Patients Association and an Honorary Research Associate at University College London, both are members of the BGS Clinical Quality Steering Group. 

Members of the CQSG were aware of excellent work done by NHS Benchmarking (NHS BM) in relation to the National Audit of Intermediate Care (NAIC) and the data collection for their newer topic of Older People’s Care in Acute Settings. The NAIC included a validated PREM questionnaire but although it had the advantage of being readily available, not all questions were relevant to the acute setting. 

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NICE Quality Standard on Osteoporosis

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published a quality standard on osteoporosis.

This quality standard covers managing osteoporosis in adults (aged 18 and over), including assessing risk and preventing fragility fractures. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

Contents of document:

Quality statement 1: Assessment of fragility fracture risk

Quality statement 2: Starting drug treatment

Quality statement 3: Adverse effects and adherence to treatment

Quality statement 4: Long-term follow-up

Older People in acute settings benchmarking report - April 2015

This report presents the findings from the first phase of a national benchmarking project looking at older people in acute settings. The project has been led by the NHS Benchmarking Network (NHSBN), and developed in partnership with the British Geriatrics Society. The topic was identified as a priority area for the Network’s work programme for 2014/15.

  • The project was available for participation from all members of the NHS Benchmarking Network who offer care of older people in the acute setting. There were 47 participating Trusts and Local Health Boards (LHBs) in this first iteration of the project.
  • The report and online toolkit present the findings of the project across the four areas of the pathway that are explored. The four elements of the acute pathway reviewed are admission avoidance in A&E, assessment units, inpatient care and
  • supported discharge. Within each area of the pathway the service models, activity, workforce and finance data is explored. Key quality indicators are also presented, as well as an extensive good practice and innovation section.

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Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty

The Law Commission has completed its review of the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

The DoLS aim to protect people who lack mental capacity, but who need to be deprived of liberty so they can be given care and treatment in a hospital or care home.

The DoLS have been criticised since they were introduced for being overly complex and excessively bureaucratic.In March 2014, a House of Lords Select Committee published a detailed report concluding that the DoLS were “not fit for purpose” and recommended that they be replaced. At the same time, a case in the United Kingdom Supreme Court held that far greater numbers of people fell to be dealt with under the DoLS system than had previously been thought.This has placed increasing burdens on local authorities and health and social care practitioners administering the DoLS.

The Law Commission's recommendations, following its review, are now published here (pdf)

Organising care at the NHS front line

(King's Fund, 3 May 2017) Organising care at the NHS front line - who is responsible?

This report, published by the King's Fund, looks at the reality of caring for acutely ill medical patients at the NHS front line and asks how care in hospitals can be improved.

It comprises a series of essays by frontline clinicians, managers, quality improvement champions and patients, and provides vivid and frank detail about how clinical care is currently provided and how it could be improved. The essays are introduced and summarised by Chris Ham and Don Berwick and the report serves as the starting point of an ongoing appreciative inquiry into improving care processes, particularly for acutely ill medical patients.

In Memoriam: Robert Kane 1940 - 2017

Bob Kane, who in 2009 was awarded the BGS Medal for the Relief of Suffering Among the Aged, died suddenly on the 6th March 2017 in Minneapolis. 

Bob was a giant among geriatricians and those caring for older people and chronic disabilities. He had major influence in the US and here in the UK where he had many friends  who will miss him, his generosity and supportive friendship. 

Bob was borne in 1940 and trained at Harvard and Kentucky and went on to be Professor in the Department of Medicine UCLA and then Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and then held the Minnesota Chair in Long Term Care and Ageing until the day he died. He had worked with many prestigious organisations across the world including the WHO, the  Rand Corporation and the London School of Economics.

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British Geriatrics Society Rising Star Award

Applications open: 1 May 2017

The British Geriatrics Society makes two Rising Star Awards each year:

  1. One for research contributions that have translated into, or are in the process of being translated into, improvements to care of older people. 
  2. One for clinical quality/ or work/project that demonstrates that they have improved the care of older people with frailty in their locality. 

Both awards will be made to BGS members who have a programme of ongoing research or relevant project work. The award includes a cash prize of £250.00 to each winner from the Dr Jim George Memorial Fund.

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Are we ready for a grown-up election debate on the NHS and social care?

Reported in The Guardian (21 April): In an age when experts are no longer de rigeur, it may be asking too much for the political debate about the future of health and social care to be nuanced, balanced and informed. Were it to be so, it would surely be the first time we had achieved such dizzy heights in the bare knuckled fight of an election campaign.

So what would be good to hear? First, an acknowledgement that all the main parties are culpable for severe underfunding of social care – arguably both at national and local level. The additional sums announced in the budget are welcome but not sufficient. The government has promised fundamental reform but again all parties, including the Conservatives, have made such promises before and then failed to deliver.

Second, a commitment to health and social care funding linked to GDP over the next parliament. We can only afford what the country can afford so it is right to link it to the size and success of the economy, but we can do much better than the current 10% well below the levels seen in the comparable economies of France and Germany. 

Major Trauma In Older People

Reported by the Major Trauma Audit and Research Network, 6 April 2017): Falls now the commonest type of major trauma in England and Wales report reveals.

The first national report on major injury in older people has been released by the Trauma Audit & Research Network, hosted by The University of Manchester, showing that falls from a standing height are now the most common cause of major trauma. 

The ten-year report, based on 8, 176 injured patients aged 60 years and above in England and Wales reveals that the typical severely injured patient isn’t the traditional young male injured in a road traffic incident, but now older and injured as a result of falling, with a lower male predominance. 

The report shows that the older injured patient may be at a disadvantage in terms of receiving optimal care. Older people with major injury are less likely than younger adults to be taken directly to a major trauma centre for specialist treatment - due to the challenges of reliably identifying major injury in older people at the scene. 

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