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BGS Policy update Autumn 2016 

During autumn there were some good opportunities to promote BGS’s work and key messages to a range of opinion formers and decision makers.  I am also very much enjoying working with BGS officers and colleagues, and getting to know BGS members, as well as policy colleagues in some of the other organisations that we work with.  

Key policy developments and current programme of work

BGS’s written submission to the House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry on the long-term sustainability of the NHS.


BGS submitted written evidence to the House of Lords Committee Inquiry.  A copy of our full response has been published on the Committee’s website and is also available on this website.  

Our submission highlighted the need for a re-modelling of services through a person-centre approach to care, to include a review of social care and its funding. The select committee held its final oral evidence sessions on 20 December. 

The committee will have begun drafting its report in January with a view to it being published by 31 March at the latest, and Government will then need to provide a response. 

In the meantime, on 30 November the House of Lords held a debate on the need to reform social care. Lord Patel, who is chairing the Select Committee Inquiry, made clear that the debate had been called as a consequence of the submissions the Inquiry had received many of which, including BGS’s, pointed to the urgent need to address the crisis in social care.  You can read a full transcript of the debate here.

BGS/RCGP report on integrated care. In November, to coincide with our Autumn conference we published our joint report on Integrated care for older people with frailty: innovative approaches in practice.

The report was developed collaboratively with the RCGP and provides thirteen case studies of innovative approaches which showcase geriatricians and GPs working together with other health professionals to improve the provision of health care for older people with frailty.  The case studies cover the whole frailty trajectory from supporting older people with frailty to stay healthy and independent through to supporting them in hospital. The report also provides an analysis of the common themes which contribute to success. 

The initial reaction to the report has been very positive and we will continue to promote it as widely as possible. We hope that you will find it helpful.  Please share with your colleagues and others who you think would find it useful. We will be carrying out an evaluation of the report in the second half of 2017 and would welcome feedback on its usefulness.  

Guidance on commissioning and providing healthcare for older people living in care homes.  On 6 December, to coincide with the King’s Fund conference on Enhanced Care in Care Homes, we published our updated guidance on healthcare in care homes.  It is short accessible guidance aimed at commissioners, policy makers and service providers and anyone with an interest in ensuring that older people living in care homes have access to healthcare that meets their needs. 

We want to promote this good practice guidance as widely as we can and will continue to communicate and disseminate it in the coming weeks. We would also welcome your feedback on the guidance which you can send directly to me at

Attendance at meetings, conferences and report launches 

This autumn I attended a number of events and conferences which have been useful for networking, building policy contacts, and helping to raise the profile of BGS.  

These include:

the parliamentary launch of the College of Occupational Therapist report, Reducing the Pressure on Hospitals, which is part of their ongoing Improving Lives, Saving Money campaign. The report makes recommendations for the provision of OTs in all rapid response and emergency care services, more occupational therapy in  primary care to prevent frailty and falls-related hospital admissions and out of hours service provision

a round-table hosted by the BMA on Growing Older in the UK which Eileen Burns and I both attended. The discussion focused on a series of briefing papers on  ageing and health which have been published as a report.

the launch of a report by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Frontline pharmacists: making a difference for people with long term conditions held at the House of Commons on 30 November. 

I have also attended meetings of the BGS in Wales and Northern Ireland, and the autumn conference in Glasgow. This has been very useful in helping bring me up to speed with the work of BGS members across the UK and I am grateful for the warm welcome.   

Caroline Cooke
Policy Manager


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