The BGS blog aims to presents issues relevant to people working to improve the health and care of older people. It will highlight the latest news and activities from across all the BGS campaigns, events, publications and activities as well as original articles commissioned by leaders in geriatric medicine.
We have an exciting range of guest bloggers and welcome news and commentary on geriatric medicine from all those working in the field of geriatric medicine. Read our guidelines on submitting a blog for more details.
All content is moderated by the blog editor. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the British Geriatrics Society.
How should we express grip strength when predicting health outcomes?
Did you know that your hand grip strength can be used to predict future health outcomes? Well, it can! Our recent study provides good evidence that lower grip strength is closely associated with an increase in risk of dying early, some cancers, heart and lung diseases.
Priorities for the incoming Prime Minister
Ten have been whittled down to two and it is now for the membership of the Conservative Party to decide whether they want Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt as their next leader and, subsequently, the next Prime Minister. Much of the focus of this campaign has been on the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Union. Are we leaving on 31 October or not? Deal or no deal? What exactly are WTO terms? Can I still go to Majorca for my summer holidays?
Supporting social care and the funding it urgently needs
While integrated care is being discussed, Lucy Lewis, consultant practitioner trainee specialising in frailty and older people at Health Education England (Wessex), gives some startling figures that reinforce the value of social care systems and the call for increased funding.
Getting old … Allelujah
Voicing criticism of “national treasures” (NT) is not normally done – after all, they are national treasures. George Monbiot wrote a Guardian article about NT David Attenborough criticising him for not being more outspoken on environmental issues. I have a gentler criticism to make of Alan Bennett, another NT.
Your chance to influence what goes on at BGS meetings: the Deputy Honorary Meetings Secretary role
Sepsis in older people – NEWS2 and the NHS Long Term Plan
Every trust must take action to identify and treat Sepsis, which costs 37,000 lives per year. Sepsis occurs when the body responds poorly to a bacterial infection, attacking its own tissues and organs, and while early treatment is effective, the condition is hard to identify.
Dying in the place of your choice – does the slipper of cancer fit on the foot of dementia?
What is the leading cause of death in the UK? Cancer? Heart disease? Nope, it is dementia. Much value has been placed on dying in the place of one’s wishes however those with dementia seem to have been excluded from this focus. Why is it so hard to research wishes around death in those with dementia? Is it because we still forget it is a terminal disease? (1) Does it adhere to the issues with advance care planning in that when one is well they don’t wish to talk about it but when they are unwell they can’t?
BGS Rising Star Award for Clinical Quality 2019: Anna Steel
It is a great honour to receive the Rising Star Award for Clinical Quality in recognition of my work regarding advance care planning. I am currently a less than full time Registrar in Geriatrics and General Medicine in North London.
BGS Rising Star Award for Research 2019: Katie Robinson
When I finished my undergraduate physiotherapy degree I wouldn’t have predicted that a research career was ahead of me! As a newly qualified physiotherapist I began to realise that I had many unanswered questions.
International Nurses Day: Presence, not presents
In the context of the multidisciplinary team it can feel awkward to single out any one profession for praise - but nurses offer unique and valuable skills, writes Dawne Garrett.
Geriatric Medical Humanities: new section in European Geriatric Medicine journal invites submissions
Despite broader currents of ageism within and without medicine, geriatricians are fortunate to be working with people at the richest stage of life, and in a specialty that is intellectually stimulating and professionally rewarding. However, our professional discourse does not always reflect the wonders of later life, and how our patients and their families manage to find vitality, warmth, humour and creativity despite multiple challenges.
Perioperative medicine: we’ve come a long way but there is still a long road ahead
As the population ages, increasing numbers of older people are presenting for elective and / or emergency surgical intervention. This group is at higher risk of adverse postoperative outcome, likely due to underlying comorbidity and frailty, increasing vulnerability to decompensation after surgery.
Is Wessex Frailty Fit?
Do you know how many people in your hospital are living with frailty? Do you know where these patients are in your hospital? Why does it matter?
The primary care ship lurched significantly in early March with the arrival of the new NHS England (NHSE) GP contract
Titled “Investment and Evolution” and sporting the NHS flagship blue and white livery it made many bold statements. First up, the extortionate premiums in indemnity coverage that GPs face will end, thanks to state backed indemnity. Nice.