Effective healthcare for older people; BGS Principles and Standards
BGS, London, 15 December 2016: The British Geriatrics Society is publishing its 'Principles and Standards' of good health care for older people, with a particular focus on those living with frailty. The paper sets out, in clear and simple terms, the principles of health care our Society endorses for older people in acute, community and care home settings, and the standards which are needed to underpin these principles.
Included in the 'Principles and Standards' are the Society's fundamental beliefs that:
- Older people should be properly valued, listened to and treated with compassion, and have their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy respected at all times
- All older people should have equal access to assessment, care and treatment regardless of age, gender, racial or ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, beliefs, disabilities, marital or civil partnership status
- Older people should be safeguarded from harm due to abuse, exploitation or neglect
- Health care professionals should involve (but only with consent from the patient or in their best interests) the families, carers and representatives of older people in decisions about their care and treatment.
Dr Gill Turner, former BGS Vice President for Clinical Quality who led on the project commented:
"Effective healthcare for older people; BGS Principles and Standards define what our organisation stands for in terms of our expectation of the provision of health care for older people.
The 11 statements outline our view of what is needed to ensure that the NHS structures and processes work for older people. We further believe that if things work for older people then services will be fit for purpose for all adults. We are also delighted that these standards have been endorsed by Age UK.
In stating these principles, the BGS has also highlighted particular standards for health care in various settings against which services can measure themselves. In particular, specialist departments of medicine or health care for older people will be able to document their performance against standards written especially for them.
Besides BGS members and health and social care managers, we hope that other external quality assurance organisations such as the CQC in England will find these standards useful. Getting health care right for older people helps to ensure we get it right for everyone."