British Geriatrics Society

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The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) is the professional body of specialists in the health care of older people in the United Kingdom. Membership is drawn from doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, scientists and others practicing geriatric medicine and with a particular interest in the care of older people and the promotion of better health in old age. It has over 2,750 members worldwide and is the only society in the UK which draws together experts from all the relevant disciplines in the field. The current president is Professor Paul Knight.


History of the BGS

The Society was founded in 1947 for “the relief of suffering and distress amongst the aged and infirm by the improvement of standards of medical care for such persons, the holding of meetings and the publication and distribution of the results of such research[1]”.

The BGS achieves these purposes by holding scientific meetings, producing clinical guidance,[2] sharing best practice and acting as an ‘expert voice’ on the care of older people and promoting better health in older age. Members lead several national clinical audits in collaboration with other professional bodies such as Royal Colleges, and specialist clinical associations organizations.


Current Activities

Today, the Society aims to set and promote high standards of health care for older people at home, in hospital, and in care homes. It is active in campaigning for:

• High quality and integrated hospital and community care services for older people with access to appropriate diagnostic and treatment facilities, transition between the hospital/community health and social services.

• dignity in care for older people and to tackle age discrimination in health care

• promotion of autonomy and the “patients’ voice” in the design and delivery of health services

• promoting education, training and standards in geriatric medicine and wider less specialist healthcare of older people

• research into age related disease and into the management of illness in old age

• improved medical support for the most frail older people, residing in independent sector care homes

• a proactive and holistic approach to healthcare at the end of life


Special Interest Groups

The Society also has a number of special interest groups[3] and sections[4] which aim to co-ordinate expertise and promote interest and research in the fields of dementia and related disorders, diabetes, gastroenterology and nutrition, medical ethics, Parkinson’s disease, drugs and prescribing, respiratory medicine, cardiovascular, community geriatrics, falls and bones, bladder and bowel and new technology in medicine for older people.


Journal

Age and Ageing, which is published by Oxford University Press, is the official journal of the British Geriatrics Society, publishing refereed original articles and commissioned reviews on geriatric medicine and gerontology. Its range includes research on ageing and the clinical, epidemiological and psychological aspects of later life. Its impact factor of 3.816 is among the highest in the field of clinical ageing. Follow the journal on Twitter @Age_and_Ageing


Scientific meetings and educational activities

The Society hosts two scientific meetings each year, spring and autumn, where members present the latest research using both platform presentations and posters. Each meeting features keynote lectures delivered by leading medical figures from around the world. The Society also hold several specialist meetings arranged by its special interest groups. Its annual Falls and Bone Health conference is very popular and there is growing interest in a Community Geriatrics event.[5]


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