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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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May 2018 Newsletter

The May issue of the BGS newsletter is available:

Highlights
Should the BGS change its name?
The new geriatric giants
Normal pressure hydrocephalus: treatment seeks disease?

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 15 June.

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BGS President-Elect Elections 2018


In November, Professor Tahir Masud will succeed Dr Eileen Burns as BGS President. The BGS is opening the ballot to elect the next President-Elect.

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Loneliness in older people

Register for this event on the impact of loneliness on health (13 June in London) 

House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into the right to freedom and safety: reform of deprivation of liberty safeguards

 

Submission by the BGS February 2018: The British Geriatrics Society’s view is that the current deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) are unfit for purpose and should be replaced by the proposed new system of ‘protective care’, instead of ‘restrictive care’. We would like Government to proceed with implementation and for a definition of deprivation of liberty for care and treatment to be debated in Parliament and written into statute.

Introduction

1. 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.

2. In 2015 BGS responded to the Law Commission’s consultation on reform. We fully agree that the current deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS) are unfit for purpose and should be replaced by a new system of protective care instead of restrictive care. We were pleased to see this acknowledged in the Law Commission’s final report and Government’s interim response to it. Our full and detailed response to the 2015 consultation is available here.

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Struggling to cope

Age UK warns of the risks of getting into a self-destructive rut as we age, with widespread ageism being a big part of the problem.

Approaching one and a half million over 65s feel they don’t have control of their lives and almost a million say that life rarely or never has any meaning for them

New analysis from Age UK shows that almost one and half million over 65s (1.465m) feel that what happens in their life is determined by factors beyond their control; and almost a million (936,642) say that their life rarely or never has any meaning. These feelings are more prevalent among the oldest age groups, with nearly 1 in 6 over 85s thinking their life rarely or never has meaning, compared to 1 in 10 aged 55-65. [i]

The charity is therefore calling on everyone to do more to support older people in recognising their self-worth, as well as calling on older people themselves to try to take steps to avoid getting into a self-destructive rut, from which it can be extremely difficult to escape.

A new Age UK report, ‘Struggling to Cope with Later Life’, explores these issues in greater depth and includes a checklist of top tips for older people and those around them, on how to avoid getting dragged down as they age, and how to get to a better place again if this happens.

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House of Commons Joint Inquiry by Communities and Local Govt, and Health Select Committees, on long-term funding of adult social care

Submission by the British Geriatrics Society (March 2018): 

Executive Summary

The British Geriatrics Society believes that the current divide between health and social care budgets must be addressed, and a funding mechanism based on need is key as part of any long term funding solution. Below we set out some of the key features that we believe would support a sustainable funding model that enables all older people to receive high quality, patient-centred care when and where they need it.

Introduction

1. 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.

2. BGS welcomes this opportunity to present a written submission to the Committee’s Inquiry into the long term funding of adult social care.

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New guidelines for recognising and assessing pain in older adults

BGS, London (20 March 2018): New recommendations to help healthcare professionals recognise and assess levels of pain in older people were published today in the scientific journal Age and Ageing. The guidelines were developed by the British Geriatrics Society, the British Pain Society, the Royal College of Nursing, in collaboration with researchers at Teesside University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Bournemouth, Centre for Ageing Better, and the Centre for Positive Ageing.

There is growing evidence to demonstrate that chronic pain is more prevalent among the older population and pain that interferes with everyday activities increases with age. Alleviating pain in the older population is therefore a priority but presents a number of challenges, especially in relation to communication with patients. These guidelines seek to address specific areas in which improvements can be made. To support this aim all existing publications on acute and chronic pain screening and assessment in adults over 60 years of age were identified, and two reviewers independently read and graded the papers according to the National Health and Medical Research Council criteria (1999b).

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National Audit Office report on reducing emergency admissions

Download the full report

Background to the report

NHS England defines an emergency admission to be “when admission is unpredictable and at short notice because of clinical need”. Some emergency admissions are clinically appropriate and unavoidable. Others could be avoided by providing alternative forms of urgent care, or by providing appropriate care and support earlier to prevent a person becoming unwell enough to require an emergency admission.

The Department of Health & Social Care sets NHS England’s mandate for arranging the provision of health services. The 2017-18 mandate includes an objective for NHS England to achieve a measurable reduction in emergency admission rates by 2020.

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