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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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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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Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts for the BGS 2018 Autumn Meeting to be held in London in November 2018. The submissions facility closes at 17:00 on 29 June (extended from 18th).

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BGS Vacancies: Senior Office Posts

The BGS is now inviting expressions of interest for the posts of Deputy Honorary Secretary and BGS Vice President: Workforce. Closing date: midnight, 30 September 2018.   

Falls and Postural Stability

This annual BGS event, being held on 14 September in Leeds is widely recognised as the leading meeting in the UK for clinicians working in the field of falls and mobility medicine. 

The British Geriatrics Society calls for all healthcare professionals to learn from the Gosport Inquiry to help prevent future tragedies

BGS London (22 June 2018): The British Geriatrics Society is calling all healthcare professionals to review the Gosport Independent Panel Report, and to learn from these shocking events which led to the deaths of over 450 patients who were given opiate painkillers “without medical justification” from 1989 to 2000 at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire.

The Inquiry found there was a “disregard for human life” and an “institutionalised practice of shortening lives” at the hospital. In response to the Inquiry’s findings the Society is also calling for increased knowledge of best practice and clinical guidelines, especially in relation to prescribing and pain management in older people. The Society fully supports the families’ ongoing quest for truth and accountability.

Dr Eileen Burns, President of the British Geriatrics Society commented:

“It is a sombre day for all healthcare professionals caring for older people. We must diligently read this report if we hope to learn from these tragic events and prevent future tragedies. We urge regulators and the wider health and care system to do the same.

The Society will continue to strive to ensure that older people receive high quality healthcare, regardless their situation or clinical diagnosis.

Our sympathies lie with the families at this difficult time, and we hope Inquiry’s findings will help them to gain the answers they seek.”

Gosport hospital deaths: 'Blame culture' must end, says Health Secretary

BBC (21 June 2018): The "blame culture" in the NHS has to change to avoid more scandals like the Gosport War Memorial Hospital deaths, the Health Secretary has said.

Jeremy Hunt said it was still too difficult for whistleblowers to raise concerns about mistakes being made. He was responding to claims similar situations to Gosport were "likely" to be replicated elsewhere in the NHS.

An Inquiry has found more than 450 patients died after doctors gave them "dangerous" amounts of painkillers. Prof Sir Brian Jarman, an expert on hospital mortality at the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London, told the Today programme the Gosport situation may be repeated because information on death rates was not properly assessed by health officials. He said "there really is a desire not to know," about mortality rates at the Department of Health, adding that NHS whistleblowers were still being "fired, gagged and blacklisted".

Guardian (21 June 2018): Call to hold officials to account for Gosport deaths 'cover-up'

Senior officials who rebuffed families asking why their elderly relatives died at Gosport War Memorial hospital should be held to account and answer for the distress they caused, a patient safety charity has said.

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The British Geriatrics Society welcomes £20 million investment to help tackle loneliness

BGS London (20 June 2018):  The British Geriatrics Society welcomes yesterday’s joint statement by the Prime Minister's Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announcing that charities and community groups will get £20 million of new funding to help people experiencing social isolation and loneliness. 

Healthcare professionals now recognise loneliness as a ‘public health epidemic’ with evidence to suggest it is as bad for health outcomes as smoking 15 cigarettes a day . Older people are one of the groups most at risk. In the UK, over 1 million older adults admit they feel lonely often or all the time , a number set to increase given the changing demography.

At the Society’s conference last week ‘Loneliness in Older People and its Impact on Health’ healthcare professionals, third sector organisations and policy makers discussed scientific research relating to this issue, and shared best practice regarding prevention. The funding announced by Government will help address some of the concerns that were raised at the event, and help put into place much needed initiatives to improve quality of life and health outcomes for lonely older people across the country.

The £20 million investment to help tackle loneliness is very welcome, but is only one way of helping to improve quality of life for older people. Without increased investment, and a long term sustainable plan for the full integration of health and social care services, older people will continue see a negative impact upon their health and wellbeing. 

In response to the announcement, Professor Tahir Masud, President-Elect of the British Geriatrics Society and Chair of the ‘Loneliness in Older People and its Impact on Health’ conference, commented: “The additional investment to support isolated and lonely people is very welcome. Older people are one of the groups most at risk of loneliness and social isolation, and there is clear evidence of the negative impact on their health. Tackling loneliness and isolation is one way of helping to improve quality of life but for older people it is not enough. We still urgently need to address the funding gaps in social care, and to have a long term sustainable plan for full integration of health and social care services.”

Managing Frailty and Delayed Transfers of Care in the Acute Setting

How are your services performing? The NHS Benchmarking Network offers you the opportunity to find out!

“The NHS Benchmarking Network provides a unique source of information in this key area. The joint experience of working with the Acute Frailty Network has highlighted that many of the issues relating to DToC can be overcome by early assertive holistic assessment. I strongly encourage all providers of older people’s acute care to sign up this year”
Professor Simon Conroy, Clinical Lead, Acute Frailty Network

What is NHS Benchmarking?

The Benchmarking Network works with its 330+ members to understand the wide variation in demand, capacity and outcomes evident within the NHS. It concentrates on areas that are poorly served by routine NHS statistics. Member organisations are able to take part in any of the Network’s benchmarking projects. The list of members can be found here.

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NHS can drop dozens of unnecessary tests and treatments, say doctors

Guardian (15 June 2018): List suggests no longer giving x-rays for sore backs or separate cataract operations

Patients with sore backs should no longer have x-rays, women who are on the pill should be given a year-long supply and older people should no longer get antibiotics at the end of their lives, according to new advice drawn up by doctors.

In addition, not just children and older people but everyone should take vitamin D supplements over the winter to reduce their risk of developing colds and flu, it says.

The move could prompt claims that the health service is increasingly rationing provision in order to save money. The recommendations are part of a list of 50 tests, procedures and treatments that doctors’ leaders want the NHS to stop undertaking because they say they have little or no value and in some cases harm patients.

Lower deaths overall but frailty is still ‘fatal’, say researchers

BGS London (14 June 2018): A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, found that despite death rates in the UK now being much lower than in the 1990s, the relationship between higher levels of frailty and mortality remains unchanged. Reduced mortality rates in older age appear to apply to those with little frailty, while older people with higher levels of frailty are not seeing a benefit.

The study, conducted by a researchers at Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing, drew their conclusions from two large studies of older people in England, conducted 20 years apart to test whether the amount of frailty has changed over time, and whether the relationship between frailty and death has changed.

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Clinical Examiners sought for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM)

BGS and RCP London are seeking clinicians with an interest in geriatric medicine to become a clinical examiner for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM).

The DGM examination is designed to give recognition of competence in the provision of healthcare for older people. It is run jointly by the BGS and Royal College of Physicians London.

In offering doctors the opportunity to review and consider all aspects of healthcare, the DGM is aimed at any medical practitioner in the UK whose clinical practice brings them into contact with older people. This may include:

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Apply now for BGS Support with EAMA fees

The European Academy for Medicine of Ageing (EAMA):  Advanced Postgraduate Course 2019-20

The European Academy for Medicine of Ageing is an Advanced Postgraduate Course in Geriatrics.

The EAMA’s goals are to:

  • Improve knowledge and skills in geriatric medicine for junior faculty members and promising candidates for future teachers in geriatrics
  • Attune the attitudes and goals of future opinion leaders in geriatric medicine throughout Europe
  • Establish a network among medical doctors responsible for the care of elderly persons and those responsible for student instruction
  • Develop new ideas for geriatric health programmes and harmonise practices
  • Encourage scientific interest in gerontology and geriatrics at local, national and international levels.

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APPG Inquiry into improving access to hospice and palliative care - BGS submission

The BGS has responded to an APPG Inquiry, calling for evidence into improving access to hospice and palliative care.


Older people are less likely than younger people to be offered hospice care, even if they have cancer, and older people living with frailty are very unlikely to receive such care.

An average GP’s workload will include approximately 20 deaths per year. Of these 5 will be from cancer, 5 from single organ failure, 2 will be sudden, and 8 will be among people living with frailty and multi-morbidity, including dementia.

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BGS response to the consultation on workforce strategy

The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) is the professional body of specialists in the healthcare of older people in the United Kingdom. Our membership is drawn from doctors practising geriatric medicine including consultants, doctors in training and general practitioners, nurses, allied health professionals, researchers and scientists with a particular interest in the care of older people and the promotion of better health in old age. BGS has 3,500 members who work across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means we have a strong interest in the development of a workforce strategy that meets the needs of our ageing society.

We very much welcome the commitment to a sustainable, free, universal healthcare system expressed in the consultation document.

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