New resource for doctors on elderly care

ADVICE for doctors on caring for elderly patients has been published online by the General Medical Council.

Better care for older people offers practical advice from leading clinicians on how to handle these patients’ clinical, emotional and psychological needs.

Over-65s make up two-thirds of NHS patients in the UK with increasing numbers of people living with complex and multiple long-term conditions.

The resource is a mix of guidance, case studies, scenarios, articles and tips on treating this growing patient group. It also features interviews with older patients discussing their experiences of dealing with doctors. Issues raised include feeling “pushed aside” because of their age and the importance of being able to see the same doctor.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said the care of older people in this country was “too often not good enough”.

“The reality is that most medical care is already centred around later life and in the future this is going to be even more the case,” he said. “We already have examples of fantastic care - we all need to try and make sure this becomes the norm even in a healthcare system where resources are becoming increasingly tight.”

Professor John Young, National Clinical Director for Integration and Frail Elderly for NHS England said: “Doctors must be prepared to play their part in a modern health care system that provides skilful, compassionate and joined-up care for people who have a multitude of health conditions. It is good to see the GMC is doing work to support doctors in this area.”

Better care for older people will be updated with new material throughout the year.

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