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NINE reasons why London in Autumn is unmissable this year

This year’s BGS Autumn Meeting will be returning to London after more than a decade. It is also my last meeting as Honorary Meetings Secretary and I want to highlight some of the advancements that have been introduced over recent years, and which have progressed while I have been in office. The meeting is the largest of its kind for specialists in older people’s healthcare and has grown in recent years to attract over 700 delegates.

Here are some great reasons to register for the BGS Autumn Meeting in London this year;

1. Innovation in content and delivery
You will hear the latest developments regarding innovative new services being set up by geriatricians and colleagues in primary and secondary care, to address the challenges faced by our ageing population. Sessions covering CPD topics such as cardiac disease and respiratory disease in older people will give you all the latest science and best clinical practice in these important topics. All attendees should make it a priority to attend the final session which focuses on pain in older people. This session includes speakers addressing pain assessment, pharmacological therapy, interventional treatment, physiotherapy and exercise, as well as pain and dementia. This area of medicine is critical for all healthcare professionals caring for older people in community and hospital settings.

For tasters on some of the programme’s content, see the following postings on the BGS blog:

Under what circumstances, and in what ways, is a quality improvement collaborative likely to succeed in a care home setting?

What is geriatric rehabilitation? Towards a unifying concept

Is it just me… or have we listened and changed?

A glimpse into the future of acute care for older people; innovation, connectivity, transformation

Benchmarking Practice in UK Long-term care, can we make it work?

2. A Return to London
London, one of the world’s busiest international business hubs, is easily accessible for delegates from across the UK and internationally. A wide range of low-cost rail and air links to international destinations are readily available. Delegates at the conference will be able to enjoy a city thriving with culture, international cuisine and all the other global attractions that make London one of the top tourist destinations in the world. As a Londoner, I would encourage all who come to make the most of your time here and explore, as there’s always something new. Central London is easily accessible from ExCel but the local area also has many attractions including the Emirates Air Line, the Millenium Dome (O2 ), Stratford Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford City if you are in need of a spot of retail therapy or for those who wish to do a little early Christmas shopping.

3. Special Interest Wednesday
Getting away for important educational conferences is increasingly challenging but, with the focused sessions on offer, it is really worth your while to make the effort to attend this one. In recent years, Wednesday’s content has been planned by our Special Interest Groups. This Autumn our Community Geriatrics and Frailty and Sarcopenia Research Groups are running the show. Caring for the growing number of older people with frailty is arguably the greatest challenge facing healthcare professionals today. Providing this care closer to home and in an integrated way, across services, is a major focus for the whole NHS. Wednesday will showcase examples of multidisciplinary team working to achieve better patient outcomes. Speakers are drawn from care homes and include allied health professionals who are at the top of their respective fields.

4. Experimentation - BGS Fringe
The BGS fringe is a first-of-its-kind experiment. A group of geriatricians are pondering how the humanities might help reduce the inhumanities of life in hospital? Drawing upon art, poetry and culture for inspiration, these experimenters will occupy a space in the exhibition to explore your mind alongside the main conference sessions. If you have a suggestion for inclusion please email . (See Muna’s article below: ‘Why the BGS Fringe?’

5. Abstracts
At this Autumn Meeting there will be a significant change in the way that research abstracts are presented. As a trial, all research abstracts have been accepted and there will now be a tiered approach to celebrating their excellence. The pinnacle will be the platform presentations; followed by posters for oral presentation alongside the poster; with the remainder reviewed onsite by our expert assessors. With this approach, we are sure to help improve the methodology and abstract writing skills of our junior members. Be sure to visit the posters and, if you have not submitted an abstract this year, abstracts will be accepted for Spring 2018, 11-13 April from 1 October.

6. Dinner down by the River Thames
Following feedback from our delegates we have revamped the traditional dinner so it is more representative of our membership. A buffet dinner will allow attendees to meet and mingle, and be entertained by interactive elements which are being added to the evening. This entertainment will be inspired by key themes from life in the NHS. The opening speech and medal ceremony will remain, delivered by our illustrious President Eileen Burns, who will be joined by our Guest Lecturers.

7. Social Programme
We plan to help you practise what you preach, and get on the right path to avoid the onset of frailty, with our social programme during the conference. There will be a conference run on Thursday morning, and a walking tour of London following Wednesday’s symposium. For those less interested in physical activities, a drinks reception and discussion on Wednesday will also be held.

8. Guest Lecturers
This year welcomes Baroness Greengross as our Guest Lecturer. Baroness Greengross was recipient of a BGS Special Medal in 2017, in recognition of her ongoing friendship with the Society, and the wonderful support she has given to our members over the years. She is a tireless advocate for the rights of older people and is a world renowned leader in this field. Joining her will be Dr Roger Wong, who is a leader in academic and clinical Geriatric Medicine in Canada. Both lecturers will add greatly to the conference sessions and you are highly encouraged to attend!

9. Continuing Professional Development
The Autumn BGS conference has CPD accreditation with the RCP, providing up to 18 hours of CPD hours for attendees. Being a BGS member you will benefit from reduced attendance fees for the conference. For those attending the whole meeting, this equates to £20 per CPD hour for a consultant, and £9 per CPD hour for junior doctors, nurses and AHPs. This constitutes great value for money considering the high quality of the content and speakers contributing, as well as all the catering throughout the day, the lunch and a drinks reception on Wednesday. 

Khai Lee Cheah
Consultant Geriatrician
Royal Free London and
Honorary Meeting Secretary, BGS

Geraint Collingridge
BGS Director of Professional Learning and Development

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