Around 5-10% of people attending A&E departments are older and living with frailty, with more than 4,000 admissions daily for falls, minor infections, and adverse reactions to medications. Patients aged over 75 with frailty occupy about 20% of all bed days across England.
Demand for services is growing as people live longer. More than half of people aged 65 to 74 live with at least one long-term health condition, and the number of over-85s in England with dementia or other long-term health conditions is predicted to almost double from 233,000 in 2015 to 446,000 in 2035.
GIRFT’s national report for geriatric medicine recommends system-level working to offer more robust and accessible services for an ageing and frail population. This extends to offering more remote-care appointments, digitally-led services and improved data sharing among support services,
An integrated approach requires collaboration with place-based providers in primary and secondary care, community services, care homes, ambulatory, local authorities, and the voluntary sector to offer cohesive wrap-around care.
Dr Adrian Hopper
Clinical Lead for Geriatric Medicine
Dr Hopper is a physician with a special interest in geriatric medicine at GSTT. He is Deputy Medical Director for Patient Safety, and Clinical Director for Patient Safety at the Health Innovation Network in South London. He was also the Lead for the Medicine Clinical Academic Group for King’s Health Partners.
In 2009, Dr Hopper was awarded the NHS Leadership Award (Quality Champion), and in 2010 the BMJ Group Award for Clinical Leadership.
GIRFT report aims to bring together all sectors to collaborate on preventing frailty and avoiding hospital admissions
Getting It Right First Time’s (GIRFT) national report on geriatric medicine makes a series of recommendations to reinforce a system-wide collaborative approach to help prevent frailty and avoid the need for older people to be admitted to hospital where more effective care can be offered closer to home.
A population health management (PHM) approach to frailty is advocated in GIRFTs report to ensure regional partners provide joined-up care and alternatives to hospitalisation.
Avoiding hospital-acquired deconditioning (around a third of older people with frailty lose some of their ability to function during their stay) and improving delirium pathways (the confusion that commonly follows acute illness) are also considered key measures to support frailty patients.
Watch the video about the Geriatric Medicine report…
Click above to play the Geriatric Medicine national report video