BGS announces Rising Star Award Winners 2022

01 December 2022

The British Geriatrics Society is delighted to announce that this year’s Rising Star Award for Research has been awarded to Dr Stephen Lim and the Rising Star Award for Clinical Quality has been awarded to Dr Towhid Imam.

The BGS Rising Star Awards were inaugurated in 2014 to recognise doctors, nurses and AHPs who have made exceptional contributions to the field of older people's healthcare, early in their careers. Two awards are available each year: one for research contributions that have translated into, or are in the process of being translated into, improvements to the care of older people, and the other for a clinical quality project which improves the care of older people with frailty. The awards are funded by generous donations from the families of the late Dr Jim George and the late Dr John Dall.

BGS Rising Star Award Winner for Research, Dr Stephen Lim, is a Principal Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Southampton and an Honorary Consultant Geriatrician at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Lim developed his research interest in interventions to address frailty and deconditioning since 2014 when he started as a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in geriatric medicine in Southampton. Dr Lim was awarded a NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care Doctoral Fellowship from 2015 until 2017. His PhD, which was awarded in 2018, explored the feasibility and acceptability of training volunteers to encourage increased physical activity among older inpatients, the SoMoVe study. The study showed that it was feasible to train volunteers to increase patients’ physical activity and that this intervention might reduce length of stay in hospital. He received the Royal College of Physicians’ Turner-Warwick Lecturer Award in 2019 and University of Southampton’s Michael Arthur Research Prize in 2020 for the best publication by a clinical academic trainee. During his NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship (2018-21), he led on a NIHR Applied Research Collaboration funded study to promote increased physical activity among community-dwelling older people, the ImPACt study. He has recently been awarded a NIHR Advanced Fellowship to further develop the mobility volunteer programme across several hospitals to address the issue of hospital-associated deconditioning.

BGS Rising Star Award Winner for Clinical Quality, Dr Towhid Imam, is a Consultant Geriatrician at Croydon University Hospital. As a registrar, Dr Imam was seconded on a part-time basis to work with the NHS England team to better understand the impact of frailty and support the development of improved services for older people living with frailty accessing Specialised Services. He implemented population level frailty scoring to NHS England data which has been published in Age and Ageing. Following his appointment as a consultant, he became lead of his hospital’s Older Persons Assessment and Liaison (OPAL) service, established a local frailty network and began using quality improvement data to show the service’s impact. Under his direction, there was a shift to a greater focus on frailty care in the emergency department which included adjustments to relevant working patterns and practices. This led to a project with the London Ambulance Service to train staff in clinical frailty scoring, moving the focus of assessment and care closer to the start of the patient journey and their usual place of residence. Dr Imam continues to work within NHS England on improving the care of older people through supporting the Ageing Well programme.

Dr Lim and Dr Imam will present their work at BGS national meetings over the coming year.

President of the BGS, Professor Adam Gordon, commented:

Both Dr Stephen Lim and Dr Towhid Imam are shining examples of how significant improvements to older people’s healthcare can be achieved through drive, determination and rigour early in the trajectory of a career in healthcare. I have no doubt that both Stephen and Towhid will continue to make a substantial difference to the care of older people. Their impressive accomplishments and outstanding leadership skills make them highly worthy recipients of this year’s BGS Rising Star Awards.”