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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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Call for abstracts for the Frailty First conference

The Acute Frailty Network is looking for suggestions for presentations, speakers and posters for their annual Conference which will take place on 28th June 2018.

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Clinical Excellence Awards 2018

The next round of clinical excellence awards opens on the 13 February 2018.

All candidates seeking the support of the BGS are asked to complete the appropriate form(s) and submit these to the Society by 5.00 p.m. on Tuesday 6 March 2018. This is a finite deadline and we will be unable to accept forms after this date.

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Calling BGS members!

Your annual membership renewal email will be sent to you by 8 December from . This contains a personalised email link for you to renew your membership for 2018. Please note we will not be sending letters this year. If you cannot find this email, or have not received it by the 8 December please call the BGS office on 0207 608 1369 or email the Membership Officer.

Sustainability and transformation in the NHS

Reported by the National Audit Office (19 January 2018): Additional funding, aimed to help the NHS get on a financially sustainable footing, has instead been spent on coping with existing pressures.

The NHS received an additional £1.8 billion Sustainability and Transformation Fund in 2016-17 to give it breathing space to set itself up to survive on significantly less funding growth from 2017-18 onwards. It was also intended to give it stability to improve performance and transform services, to achieve a sustainable health system.

The Fund has helped the NHS improve its financial position from a £1,848 million deficit in 2015-16 to a £111 million surplus in 2016-17[1]. Within the overall position, the combined trust deficit reduced to £791 million in 2016-17 from £2,447 million in 2015-16. There has also been an improved underspend of £154 million across clinical commissioning groups, yet 62 groups reported a cumulative deficit in 2016-17, up from 32 in 2015-16.

Despite its overall financial position improving, the NHS is struggling to manage increased activity and demand within its budget and has not met NHS access targets. Furthermore, measures it took to rebalance its finances have restricted money available for longer-term transformation, which is essential for the NHS to meet demand, drive efficiencies and improve the service. For example, the Department transferred £1.2 billion of its £5.8 billion budget for capital projects to fund the day-to-day activities of NHS bodies.

Afraid of Falling? For Older Adults, the Dutch Have a Cure

Reported in the New York Times (2 January 2018):  — The shouts of schoolchildren playing outside echoed through the gymnasium where an obstacle course was being set up.

There was the “Belgian sidewalk,” a wooden contraption designed to simulate loose tiles; a “sloping slope,” ramps angled at an ankle-unfriendly 45 degrees; and others like “the slalom” and “the pirouette.”

They were not for the children, though, but for a class where the students ranged in age from 65 to 94. The obstacle course was clinically devised to teach them how to navigate treacherous ground without having to worry about falling, and how to fall if they did.

“It’s not a bad thing to be afraid of falling, but it puts you at higher risk of falling,” said Diedeke van Wijk, a physiotherapist who runs WIJKfysio and teaches the course three times a year in Leusden, a bedroom community just outside Amersfoort, in the center of the country.

The Dutch, like many elsewhere, are living longer than in previous generations, often alone. As they do, courses that teach them not only how to avoid falling, but how to fall correctly, are gaining popularity.

“It’s not a bad thing to be afraid of falling, but it puts you at higher risk of falling,” said Diedeke van Wijk, a physiotherapist who runs WIJKfysio and teaches the course three times a year in Leusden, a bedroom community just outside Amersfoort, in the center of the country.

The Dutch, like many elsewhere, are living longer than in previous generations, often alone. As they do, courses that teach them not only how to avoid falling, but how to fall correctly, are gaining popularity.

Members of the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine Board

The British Geriatrics Society and Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is seeking to appoint a physician, old age psychiatrist or a general practitioner with special interest in Geriatric Medicine as members of the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine Board to support the development of the examination. 

The Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM) examination is designed to give recognition of competence in the provision of care of older people, and is taken by a range of candidates with interests in or responsibilities for the care of older people.  

The DGM Board is responsible for ensuring that the academic objectives of the examination are met.

We offer the opportunity to network with colleagues, keep your knowledge up-to-date, take part in challenging discussions, be involved with the next generation of doctors, shape the future of the profession, and gain continuing professional development.

By getting involved you can shape the future of the DGM written and clinical examinations and improve care for the elderly at a time when the proportion of very elderly people in the population is rising dramatically.  

These are non-salaried positions, though all reasonable expenses and travel costs will be met by the Examinations Department in line with the RCP expenses policy. CPD points are attached.

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Autumn Meeting 2017 Powerpoints

What works, for whom and in what circumstances - insights from the Optimal Study The powerpoint files supporting presentations at the BGS Autumn 2017 meeting will be published if and when authority has been obtained from presenters to publish. They will be published in secured pdf format and will be added to gradually, as permission is given to post onto the website. (updated 4 December 2017)

Care Homes

Wilco Achterberg: Innovation and emerging practice in elderly care medicine in the Netherlands

Anita Astle: Training a care home workforce fit for purposes, perspectives from a care home manager

Sharon Blackburn: What people living in care homes need from healthcare providers

Louise Butler: Haelo and Salford Care Homes

Iain Carpenter: The International Resident Assessment Instrument

Jo Hockley: The teaching/research-based care home - can it be a reality?

William Roberts: Enhanced health in care homes: progress and learning

Jos M G A Schols: Long-term (institutional) care in the Netherlands and the role of elderly care physicians; the story so far


Tommy Whitelaw: Dementia Care - you can make a difference

Frailty and Fitness

Claire Steves: The Frailty Problem

Pippa Colins and Melody Chawner: Managing common movement problems in older people with frailty: putting the sarcopenia evidence base into practice

Andy Clegg: Exercise in frailty: what is the evidence?

Claire Goodman: What works, for whom and in what circumstances - insights from the Optimal Study

Vicky Johnston and Janet Thomas: Exercise for recovery and rehabilitation

Stephen Lim: Exercise during periods of decompensation

Denis Martin: Physiotherapy and exercise (uploaded 1 Dec)

Jamie McPhee: Exercise in sarcopenia: what's the evidence?

Louise Poynter: Older people with cognitive impairment and exercise - practical strategies for success!

Dawn Skelton: Physical activity interventions for older people living with frailty: opportunities and challenges

Miles Witham and Rachael Colclough: Mixing it up - exercise for multiple syndromes

Movement Disorders and Parkinsonism

Paul Worth: Movers and shakers: if it's not Parkinson's, what might it be?


Neil Kirby: Benefits of Electronic Prescribing

Other medical presentations

Mark Davies: Care of the elderly foot

Jonathan Knowles: Possums, Apaches and Pow Wows

Nick Maskell: 'The wet lung' - Pleural effusions

Terry Quinn: Managing subclinical hypothyroidism in older adults

Romke van Balen: Geriatric Rehabilitation

The Fringe

Exploring Pyjama Paralysis using LEGO Serious Play (uploaded 4 Dec)

National Audit of Intermediate Care in England - 2017 Report

The National Audit of Intermediate Care (NAIC) report, published in November by the NHS Benchmarking Network, covers organisational level data relating to the period 2016/17. Service user and patient reported experience data was collected between May and August 2017.

Some of the findings:

Effectiveness: “Evidence from the audit demonstrates that intermediate care works with more than 91% of service users either maintaining or improving their level of independence in undertaking activities of daily living, during their episode of care.”

Waiting times: “Average waiting times have slightly reduced in home based services to 5.8 days (referral to assessment) and 2.5 days (referral to commencement) in bed based services. Whilst the reduction is welcome, the averages are still higher than the two-day wait standard.”

And capacity: “It was calculated in NAIC 2012 that intermediate care capacity needed to approximately double to meet demand. Given the ageing population and the increase in emergency admissions, it is likely that demand has continued to rise over the last five years. However, as in previous iterations of the audit, there is no evidence to suggest the step change in investment and capacity needed to meet demand has been achieved in 2017. Total investment in intermediate care services is around £2.8 million per 100,000 weighted population.”

National Frailty Conference Powerpoints now available

The slides from the National Frailty conference are now available for professionals who are members of the future NHS collaboration platform / Supporting Older People living with Frailty in Primary Care. If you are not a member of this platform you may access them too.

If you would like an invitation to join this collaboration platform please email  

Kristin Bash: Current and future cost of frailty to health and care
Alistair Burns: Frailty and Older People's Mental Health
Andy Clegg: Future eFI developments
Tom Gentry: Living with 'frailty': older people's experiences and the role of the voluntary sector
Adam Gordon: How new care models are (likely to be) making a difference to residents in care homes
S Humphreys: IT Solutions to support prevalence, case finding, diagnosis and care planning in dementia
Helen Lyndon: Meeting the needs of patients with frailty and multimorbidity: 'Frailty rarely travels alone'
Dawn Moody: 'Finding Frailty' - System benefits of frailty identification
Dawn Moody: Workshop: Identifying frailty in Practise - case finding and management
Matt Thomas: Restoring health and independence: a hospital's role and responsiblities
Martin Vernon: Find, Recognise, Assess, Intervene, Long-Term
Mick Ward: Strategic approach to tackle social isolation and loneliness

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