The Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative have published the results of the first round of their delirium audit performed on World Delirium Awareness Day 2018 in BMC Medicine

13 January 2020

Carly Welch is current Chair of the Trainees Council and co-founded the Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative (GeMRC). She is currently out of programme completing a PhD characterising acute sarcopenia in hospitalised older adults. She tweets @HeartOfGold_42  

What’s the big news?

I am very excited to declare, on behalf of the Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative, that we have just published the results of our first multi-centre study on delirium prevalence in BMC Medicine. This study involved screening and assessment for delirium of 1507 newly admitted older adults in UK hospitals.

What was different about this study?

This study was not conducted by a single individual, or even a single team of individuals; it was a truly collaborative effort. Our study included 261 collaborators working across 45 hospitals within all four UK nations. It would not have been possible to perform this study on this scale without all of our individual collaborators. The study has been published under the name of the Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative, but all of our collaborators are listed as fully Pubmed-citable authors. Screening / assessment for delirium and data collection at site was performed by our local collaborators, and this was all performed on a single day – World Delirium Awareness Day 2018.

What are the main results of this study?

Delirium is common – it affected 15% of patients who were screened on this day on admission. However, we also know that delirium is serious – it was associated with a two-fold increased risk of death within 30 days and an increased length of stay of three days compared to those without delirium. Delirium prevalence increased with frailty severity. Unfortunately, delirium had not been recognised by the usual care team in two thirds of cases. The most severely frail were also the least likely to have their delirium recognised.

What’s next?

Following on from this study, we have already conducted another two rounds of our national delirium audit. We used “crowdsourcing” to implement our quality improvement methodology, sharing guidelines, toolkits, and educational tools across centres. The results of these further two rounds are now being analysed and written up for wide dissemination.

How can you get involved in the Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative?

The Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative is a national trainee-led research collaborative, which aims to conduct research with direct impact on patient care. Anyone can get involved in our projects – the authors of our paper described above included trainee geriatricians and consultants, but also medical students, nurses, and even a ward clerk. If you have a look on our website you can see what projects are currently ongoing and how you can get involved. Each training region also a regional representative we would advise you to link up with. If you’re unsure who your representative or you want to contact us about anything else, you can email us at gemresearchuk [at] gmail [dot] com

Read the full article in BMC Medicine 'Delirium is prevalent in older hospital inpatients and associated with adverse outcomes: results of a prospective multi-centre study on World Delirium Awareness Day'


Congratulations on this innovative approach to getting up to date real time data. Thanks. You may know that in the NHSE/NHSI  Same Day Emergency Care programme (I am leading the Frailty subgroup) we are promoting the routine use of both CFS and 4AT as part of front door assessment of older people. (Exact target group not yet defined and will not be top down prescriptive I think). We are hoping and optimistic that they will be included in the Emergency care dataset which will drive uptake, we hope. This paper supports the need for this, I believe, and is very timely!

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