I am the programme leader for the MSc in Gerontology and MSc in Gerontology (with Dementia Care) @uwshealth. You can find out more about the programmes at: https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-course-search/gerontology/ and https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-course-search/gerontology-with-dementia-care/ This blog is designed to highlight older people's issues and issues around older people's care. I will make a new post every Friday.
This year Remembrance Day on the 11th of November will mark the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War. As part of the commemorations, Britain and Germany are joining in a call for bells of all kinds to be rung globally (at 12.30 hrs GMT/13.30hrs CET/12.30 local time) to replicate the outpouring of relief when 100 years ago the guns finally fell silent. The US Centennial Commission has already made a similar appeal to Americans.
For other events and activities taking place to mark the Centenary the following website is useful, click here on Centenary News.
Of particular interest to me is a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) online exhibition showcasing the lives of nursing staff during the First World War, which won the Women’s Network History Award for 2018. Called “Service Scrapbooks: Nursing and Storytelling in the First World War” this project digitised and transcribed photographs poems diary entries and illustrations ranging for 1909 to 1919. To go to it click here
this new archive contains a collection of digitised slides from Scottish Women’s Hospitals which is a haunting glimpse into life in a field hospital 100 years ago.
A very moving archive full of personal views of the war by nurses who were there.
This is a bit of a landmark because when I started out this blog it was really as an experiment to see what I could do to keep my own MSc in Gerontology students up to date with developments in older people’s care occurring during their programme.
So 3 years on and I have posted 162 times. The site has been viewed by 2,299 different people, I have 33 followers and the most popular day to come to this site is a Monday (about 20% of all viewers)
So thanks to everyone who visits and spreads the word about this blog. It’s gone well beyond the “classroom” although I know many of my students do visit regularly. Please keep following and visiting. And remember that despite everything that’s going on, things are getting better.
For example; in the last 5 years across European mortality from the four major noncommunicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases have been on a 2% decline per year on average based on the data from 40 of the 53 countries in the European Region. In addition, a WHO 2017 progress review established that the WHO European Region is likely to achieve its target of reducing by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promoting mental health and well-being earlier than 2030 and will probably exceed it.
At the end of August, 10 charities published the findings of a shared workshop they had on the topic of incontinence which had taken place in December 2016. The resulting report which is called “My bladder and bowel own my life.” A collaborative workshop addressing the need for continence research” recommends tackling the stigma of incontinence and funding research into this often ignored issue. This new report describes the impact of continence issues on patients with long-term conditions and older people as discussed by the workshop participants and makes 8 clear recommendations for researchers, research funders, policy makers, commissioners and others in a position to make research into urinary and faecal continence problems more of a priority.
Research into urinary and faecal continence problems have been identified by patients, carers, family members and health and social care professionals as one of the key areas where further research is needed. This is because there are are a lot of areas in this field where further research could be done to improve the quality of life for people with a variety of conditions and circumstances, such as long-term neurological conditions and terminal illness. The 10 charities suggest that more research is needed into:
the patient experience
clinical research into self-management techniques, co-morbidities, continence assessment and products, the impact of education, combined urinary and bowel continence research, side-effects and the interaction of medication prescribed for other long-term health conditions and their effect on incontinence symptoms.
fundamental research to better understand bladder and bowel function
the effect of non-surgical interventions.
Quite a knowledge gap, that needs to be tackled particularly since the NHS estimates that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK have some degree of urinary incontinence. Studies also suggest that in the UK “major faecal incontinence” affects 1.4% of the general population over 40 years old and that constipation affects between 3% and 15% of the population. It’s also widely believed that continence problems are under-reported so these figures could be quite a bit off as the numbers seeking treatment might be as low as 20% of those affected, which would mean around 15 million around a 1/5th of the UK population at any one time may be troubled by poor continence symptoms.
As with Dementia, the flowchart has also been updated making it easy to follow.
At the same time, they have also updated the Rheumatoid Arthritis Quality Standard (now Q33) which has 7 recommendations that it would be worth becoming aware of. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects over 400,000 people in the UK making it one of the most prevalent long-term conditions health professionals see. If you need to know more about rheumatoid arthritis its worth looking at the NHS Direct entry which you can see by Clicking Here
In the wake of the celebrations to mark #NHS70 and in the light of recent negative publicity about the health of the NHS, it’s probably a good time to mention this. A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank has claimed low-quality healthcare services are holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels. (i.e. the NHS is not alone in the problems its facing).
te report highlights that 1 in 10 patients is adversely affected during treatment in high-income countries. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines in eight low- and middle-income countries was below 50 per cent in several instances. Also, 10% of hospitalised patients in low- and middle-income can expect to acquire an infection during their stay, as compared to 7% in high-income countries. The report outlines the steps health services, health workers, governments, citizens and patients needed to take to improve healthcare quality. It would be a shame to let this important report slip under the radar because of #TrumpVisitUK and the Brexit mess. See:
So this week I am at the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Conference 2018. I don’t think that I have ever been to a larger Conference and there is so much in the Conference Programme that it is almost big enough to require a wheelbarrow!
Anyway, later today I am speaking with Becky Moran the Care Home Educational Facilitator (CHEF) from NHS Lanarkshire talking about the BSG study day we held back in August 2017. See This Link for our report to Ageing Issues
At the conference the following has been announced that other people might be interested in.
Firstly, the Centre for Better Ageing at https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/ is releasing a new report today called Home Adaptations: A Typical Journey, which explores personal and professional perspectives on home adaptations. Go to the website and download it.
Secondly, Ageing and Society have released some full-text versions of some of its most interesting articles online. There are a range of topics so if you want to take a look at what is available see www.cambridge.org/ASO-BSG18
Finally, the Centre for Policy on Ageing has pooled together some of its Information Resources. An interesting one to look at is called “Policies on Ageing” which is an online resource providing easy access to government policy documents and key national reports and briefings that are raising the profile of issues around the support of older people and an ageing population. See:
The NHS celebrates its 70th Birthday on Thursday 5th of July 2018. I am not going to bang on about how wonderful it is. Lots of people will do that. If you need reminding see: The History of the NHS in Charts and #ourNHS70
Lots of things to watch out for this week as a result.
The NHS: To Provide all People is a good starting point. This is a film poem that charts the emotional and philosophical map of what defines the NHS and the personal experiences at the heart of the service and recognises its achievements and the challenges it faces. Based on real interviews conducted with NHS staff.
The BBC centrepiece of the season was NHS 70 Live, a 90-minute event broadcast live from a hospital on BBC Two. Hosted by Nick Robinson and Anita Rani. The programme asked some of the big questions about the NHS today and its future. Drawing on landmark independent research from four leading think tanks, the programme gave audiences a chance to contribute to the wider conversation around the NHS.
More details of what can be found on the BBC related to the NHS at 70 can be found here
Well that’s enough on Telly and catch-up to keep you busy for quite a while! Don’t forget there ar also many local events. On Thurday I’ll be in Manchester at the #BGS2018 Conference “Ageing in an Unequal World” conference. Say hello to me if you are there as well.
I chose not to Blog about this last week. However, that’s not an indication that I don’t think its important. Quite the reverse really, however, the events are so tragic its hard to know what to say other than I hope justice prevails.
below is the response of the British Geriatrics Society.
The British Geriatrics Society is calling all healthcare professionals to review the Gosport Independent Panel Report, and to learn from these shocking events which led to the deaths of over 450 patients who were given opiate painkillers “without medical justification” from 1989 to 2000 at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire. The Inquiry found there was […]