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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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Vacancies: Senior BGS Roles

Expressions of interest are invited for a number of senior officer roles in the BGS including Deputy Hon Secretary (deadline: 30 April), Vice President for Clinical Quality (deadline: 30 April) and Deputy Honorary Treasurer (deadline: 10 June). Deadline: Click here for job descriptions and instructions on applying.

BGS March 2017 news

The March 2017 issue of the newsletter is now available. Highlights include: Substance abuse in older people, Autumn 2016 conference report, Hospital at home and more

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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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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Long-term sustainability of NHS and Adult Social Care under threat

The Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS has slammed the 'short sightedness' of successive governments for failing to plan effectively for the long-term future of the health service and adult social care.

The BGS fed into the Committee’s Inquiry by providing a written submission which is already published here

Lord Patel, Crossbench Peer and eminent obstetrician provides a good summary of the Committee’s recommendations.  

The Department of Health at both the political and official level is failing to think beyond the next few years. There is a shocking lack of long-term strategic planning in the NHS. This short sightedness stems from the political importance of the NHS and the temptation for politicians to reach for short-term fixes not long-term solutions.  

To solve this we need a new body that is independent of government and is able to identify clearly the healthcare needs of a changing and ageing population and the staffing and funding the NHS will require to meet those needs. This new Office for Health and Care Sustainability should be a trusted, independent voice as the Office for Budget Responsibility has become on economic forecasting and on public finance matters. It will need to look ahead and plan for 15-20 years into the future. 

2016/17 NHS Benchmarking Network’s Older People’s Care in Acute Settings national report

The NHS Benchmarking Network's Older People’s Care in Acute Settings national report has now been published. It presents the findings from the 2016/17 Older People’s Care in Acute Settings project. All data presented in this report is 2015/16 outturn data. It is the third iteration of the project and has included data from 47 trusts / UHBs who between them made 56 submissions. The data the participating organisations have provided has enabled benchmarked comparisons to be made which are not available elsewhere in the NHS. The service user audit has provided further granularity on the service user’s episode of care.

Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View: NHS sets out action to deliver NHS care fit for the future

NHS England, 31 March 2017: As the NHS approaches its 70th anniversary the health service has today published the plan setting out how it will deliver practical improvements in areas prized by patients and the public – cancer, mental health and GP access – while transforming the way that care is delivered to ease pressure on hospitals by helping frail and older people live healthier, more independent lives.

These measures, probably the biggest national move towards integrated care currently underway in any Western country, will also help to put the service on a more sustainable footing for the future.

With the NHS under pressure this plan, Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View, also details an accelerated drive to improve efficiency and use of technology in order to deliver better care and meet rising demand within the constraints of available resources.

Health Foundation: New analysis shows reduced hospital admissions for care home residents

Today the Health Foundation published a briefing on the impact of an enhanced care package for care home residents in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire

The analysis is the first from the Improvement Analytics Unit, a joint initiative between the Health Foundation and NHS England. The unit was set up in 2016 to spread learning and improvement through robust statistical analysis. 

The analysis shows that care home residents who received an enhanced care package attended A&E 29% less frequently than similar care home residents in other parts of the country. They were also admitted to hospital as an emergency 23% less often.

The enhanced care package was delivered by Principia, a multi-specialty community provider in Rushcliffe, and an NHS New Care Models vanguard. 

Principia’s enhanced care package, introduced in April 2014, ensured care home residents had regular visits from a named GP and independent support from Age UK Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Greater support for care home managers and community nurses, for example through a peer-to-peer network, was also provided.

Major reform of social care funding and provision needed

Reported on the Parliamentary website (31 March 2017): The Communities and Local Government Committee report says that the Government needs to urgently review how social care is funded in the long term and address serious threats to social care provision.

The report finds inadequate funding very seriously affects the quantity and quality of adult social care provision, impacting on those receiving care, the NHS, care staff, carers and providers. The report sets out a number of recommendations relating to the monitoring of care services, care commissioning, and the care workforce.

The CLG Committee welcomes the Chancellor's commitment to provide an additional £2bn for social care over the next three years but finds this falls short of the amount required to close the social care funding gap. The Committee believes expenditure on adult social care will need to rise as a proportion of total public expenditure and recommends an urgent review of how to fund social care in the long-term.

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POPS 2017: Powerpoint files now available

The following files are secured pdf versions of the powerpoint files supporting presentations delivered at the the POPS Meeting in 2017. These are published with the presenters' permission and the onus for assuring that copyright permissions are adhered to is vested in the individual presenters. These files will remain on the BGS website under Resources/Powerpoint Library for two years:

Rachel Bell: The older surgical patient: a surgeon's perspective

Ben Clevenger: An approach to anaemia in the older surgical patient

Jugdeep Dhesi et. al: Developing collaborative services - POPS, GOLD, the workforce

Fionna Martin: Prehability and exercise - interventions before surgery 

Stuart McCorkell, Preoperative risk assessment in the older surgical patient 

Ffion Pritchard et. al, What do I do with: Pacemakers, VTE, Hypertension and Antiplatelets? 

Nick Sevdalis: Using quality improvement and implementation methodologies to improve outcomes for older surgical patients 

Mike Swart: Perioperative Medicine POM - The Royal College of Anaesthetists Perspective

Gold Standards Framework: New identification guidance provides boost for end of life care

National Gold Standards Framework Centre (GSF) (31 March 2017): Care for people nearing the end of life received a major boost today with the publication of new fully updated guidance to help health and social care providers identify these patients earlier. 

The National Gold Standards Framework Centre (GSF), launched a new revised version of its identification tool, PIG, which has since its original launch in 2001 helped doctors, nurses and care home staff, both in the UK and internationally, increase identification rates by up to ten times, paving the way for improved care for people at the end of their life. It is co-badged by the Royal College of General Practitioners, and recommended as best practice. 

The new ‘Proactive Identification Guidance’, was formerly known as the GSF RCGP Prognostic Indicator Guide. This change of name is indicative of the move towards supporting earlier identification of patients leading to more proactive care and prediction of needs, and away from challenges of specific clinical prognostication that can sometimes hamper this approach. The essence of the PIG early alerting tool remains the same, but has been fully updated in accordance with current expert opinion. 

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RCP Diploma of Geriatric Medicine Examining Board and Question Writing Group

Vacancies for Members of the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine Question Writing Group
Diploma in Geriatric Medicine
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3075 1549

The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) and Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) are seeking to appoint question writers for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM).

The role - The successful applicants will: 

  • generate questions for the DGM written examination as directed by the DGM examining board 
  • ensure that the academic objectives in terms of question writing and producing assessment materials for the examination are met 
  • advise the chief written examiner on the content and development of the examination 
  • assist in any review of the question writing process to ensure that sufficient questions of quality are produced for the examination.
  • A full list of the post’s responsibilities is set out in the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM) question writing group (QWG) responsibilities and duties document.

See RCP website for more details on how to apply

Closing date for applications: 6 May 2017

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