BGS responds to findings of international study on health outcomes for older people

11 November 2021

The BGS has commented on findings from the International Collaborative on Costs, Outcomes and Needs in Care (ICCONIC) study comparing health care spending and utlisation among frail older adults in 11 high-income countries, including England.


The BGS welcomes the publication of the results of the ICCONIC study which have cast an important light on poor outcomes for older people with diabetes, heart failure and hip fracture receiving care in England by comparison with other OECD countries. These are challenging but important findings. The recommendation of the report authors about the need for integrated approaches to data, in order to better understand how older people move through care systems, aligns with our own recommendations from the BGS, including our recent Ambitions for Change in Care Home recommendations.

It is important to highlight, with regard to hip fracture, that the data suggest England excels in some areas, for example the rapidity with which hip repairs are undertaken following fracture, whilst the overall mortality statistics show us falling behind peer nations. This reminds us of the importance of recovery and rehabilitation in care planning for older people. Other statistics, showing poorer outcomes up to one year for those with diabetes and heart failure are likely to reflect differences in integrated care for people with multiple-long term conditions between nations.

It is important for UK policymakers, and health and social care commissioners, to invest in expertise and resource in both rehabilitation and proactive coordinated care for people with multiple long-term conditions if clinical outcomes are to improve.”