Dr Gill Turner announced as winner of the Marjory Warren Lifetime Achievement Award 2023

02 August 2023

The British Geriatrics Society is delighted to announce that Dr Gill Turner has been awarded the Society’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023. Named in honour of the founder of modern geriatric medicine, Dr Marjory Warren, the award is presented annually to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the healthcare of older people throughout their career. 

Dr Gill Turner has had a long career within the NHS, qualifying in 1981. Through her role as a consultant geriatrician in the New Forest, she has trained and supported generations of doctors and other medical professionals, inspiring them with her passion for improving the care of older people.   

Dr Turner is described as an inspiring educator. She was the Programme Director for geriatric medicine when the formal training schemes were initially set up. She has been a mentor for many, contributing to the learning of countless trainees, while embracing opportunities to learn and grow herself. With her self-effacing humility, and a genuine desire to improve her own practice, she conveyed an infectious delight in gaining new insights and translating them into the clinic and homes she visited. 

She was a catalyst in developing the older people’s multi-professional consultant programme within the Wessex Deanery in 2012, with her clinical expertise, and an eye on future workforce needs. She has continued to mentor and teach many trainees and advanced practitioners over the years. Many comment on the significant support and encouragement she provided them.Influencing the move towards community-based care models, she integrated a community geriatrics service into her clinic and ward-based consultancy which ran for over three decades. This innovative approach, one of the earliest Hospital-at-Home models to support older people with frailty, has since been embraced nationally. 

Dr Turner led the BGS’s clinical quality work as its Vice President from 2013-16. Her contribution to the groundbreaking publications Fit for Frailty 1 and 2 and her work on Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment led to a complete revolution in managing older people, with clear diagnostic tools and clinical intervention recommendations, transforming commissioning and practice across different care settings.  

She has a specific interest in Parkinson’s Disease and is well-known and loved by many living with the condition in the south of England, who know her for her warm, engaging and direct style of consultation. She has been a regular contributor and advisor to many iterations of local Parkinson’s UK groups. 

Patients and colleagues in the UK and internationally attest to her brilliance and warmth, describing her as a dynamic change agent, playing a pivotal role in pushing geriatric medicine forward with her straight-talking, compassionate approach. 

At a celebratory event organised by colleagues to mark her retirement in May, Dr Turner was delighted to learn that she had won the award. She will be officially presented with her silver medal at the BGS’s Autumn Meeting in Birmingham in November 2023.  

BGS President, Professor Adam Gordon, said: 

Gill Turner has been a passionate advocate for the care of older people throughout her career. She believes that older people deserve the best that modern healthcare can deliver. Gill has worked passionately to deliver this through her role in developing and leading training for doctors and other healthcare professionals. Her recent work in measuring the impact of the care we deliver is pivotal. It will help us to identify when and where good care is delivered, and work to improve things where it is not. Gill’s impact in Wessex and across the UK cannot be overstated.  She leaves our NHS, beleaguered as it is, in much better shape to serve the patient group that use it the most, older people. We are in her debt and will remain so for many years to come.”