There are consultant vacancies in most Board areas, with multiple vacancies in some hospitals, and resulting concern about the pressure on services and the financial burden of locum cover. In general the issue seems to be a shortage of trainees completing training – most geriatric medicine specialty trainees in Scotland move into consultant posts in Scotland post CCT but demand comfortably exceeds supply.
There are ongoing concerns around workforce projections, with specialty recruitment less than we think ideal and many trainees taking longer than expected to complete training, due to time out for research, stroke specialty training, maternity leave etc.
- Ongoing clear policy focus from the Scottish Government on the care of frail older people with support from Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and initiatives such as improving delirium care and frailty assessment across Scotland. HIS is now part of the iHub which brought together a number of quality improvement/guidelines/patient safety initiatives and this is going well. HIS appointed a clinical lead for older people with a funded sessional commitment to that work (Professor Graham Ellis) and he has been co-opted on to the BGS Scotland committee.
- Considerable investment and support is being provided to improve the care of people who have dementia.
- There is huge enthusiasm in the rural areas in the north of Scotland, particularly Tayside and Grampian, for improving community healthcare for older people and enhancing joint working between geriatricians and GPs – we had a very successful BGS Scotland scientific meeting in November 2017 in Aberdeen which included a session on this work. One of the GPs credited the initiatives with improving GP recruitment in her area. It would be good to share this more widely for joint learning and development with other similar areas across the UK.
Chair: BGS Scotland