Professor Adam Gordon wins election for BGS President Elect with largest voter turnout in the Society’s history

30 July 2020

Professor Adam Gordon has won the election for President Elect of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) in a ballot that saw the highest turnout in the Society’s history with a record-breaking 25% of the Society’s membership casting its vote.

Adam Gordon is Professor of the Care of Older People at the University of Nottingham and has been a member of the BGS since 2006. He will succeed current President Elect Dr Jennifer Burns when she assumes the President’s mantle at the BGS Annual General Meeting in November 2020. He will in turn become President of the BGS from November 2022.

Professor Gordon has a diverse and illustrious association with the BGS, having held a variety of senior offices over the years. He was Deputy Honorary Secretary of the Society from 2011 until 2013, followed by Honorary Secretary from 2013 until 2015. He became Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2018 and was Chair of the Community Geriatrics Special Interest Group until January 2019. Professor Gordon also led the BGS Leadership and Management Course for Trainees from 2012 to 2018 and wrote the related curriculum.

A strong advocate for the importance of research and its real world application, his academic interests lie predominantly in how healthcare is delivered in care homes but he has also done work around peri-operative geriatrics and in the field of sarcopenia as part of the Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research at the University of Nottingham. He maintains an active educational portfolio and played a key role in developing the UK and European recommended undergraduate curricula in geriatric medicine. In 2018 he joined the Board of the European Academy of Medicine of Ageing (EAMA).

In addition to his academic work, Professor Gordon is a practising consultant geriatrician at Royal Derby Hospital. In this role he cares for older patients in acute care, and older patients under the care of the general surgeons following emergency operations. He was first attracted to the specialty during his medical training as he was inspired by the way in which geriatricians provided thoughtful and comprehensive care to their older patients. He was also drawn to the intellectual challenge of dealing with multiple conditions in a single patient.

Recently Professor Gordon has been instrumental in providing much-needed guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic as lead author of the BGS resource Managing the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes for older people. This resource was the first of its kind in the UK, has been accessed 137,036 times since publication, and was cited in subsequent guidance released by NHS England and NHS Improvement. In July 2020 he was appointed to the government’s SAGE Committee sub-group on Care Homes. In addition to his academic and policy work, Professor Gordon has also played an important role in educating the public during the pandemic, which has included appearances on Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Cumbria, and being quoted in the Financial Times and the Daily Mail. 

Professor Gordon ran on an election platform arguing that ‘older people with frailty deserve more’, and ‘careful application of knowledge, skill and evidence-based healthcare can change lives’. Priorities for his future Presidency include increased collaboration with Medical Royal Colleges, national bodies for nursing and the allied health professions, campaigning to ensure that older people can access rehabilitation services and the Society publicly advocating against structural racism in healthcare.

His fellow candidate in the recent BGS election was Professor Martin Vernon, a highly experienced geriatrician who is also a longstanding member of the BGS. Professor Vernon is a widely respected expert in the field of frailty and was National Clinical Director for Older People and Person-Centred Integrated Care at NHS England until 2019. The professional standing of the two candidates ensured that it was one of the most high-profile, closely run races in the Society’s history. The BGS would like to extend its gratitude to both candidates for their participation and the spirit in which they engaged in the election process.

Professor Tahir Masud, who will be handing the Presidential chain of office to Dr Jennifer Burns in November, commented:

After a close competition between two of our most respected and senior members for the much-coveted President Elect role, I am delighted to announce that Professor Adam Gordon has been elected. Professor Gordon is a highly esteemed member of both the BGS and the wider medical community. He will bring considerable experience and expertise to the post, as well as an innate understanding and respect for the mission of the Society and the core values of its members. I would also like to send my sincere thanks to Professor Martin Vernon for standing in this election. It was a great contest and we continue to be incredibly grateful to Martin for his ongoing engagement with the Society and invaluable contribution to the healthcare of older people.”