GMC Resource For Doctors To Provide Better Care For Older People

The GMC has launched a new online resource to support doctors in their day-to-day care of older patients:

Better care for older people 

It has worked closely with partner organisations, including the British Geriatrics Society and Age UK, to create Better care for older people. The resource gives practical advice, including from leading clinicians, on how to put older patients first and use GMC guidance to handle their clinical, emotional and psychological needs.

At the core of the resource is a series of videos featuring interviews with older patients. Their experiences of dealing with doctors, from feeling that they have been pushed aside because of their age to the importance of seeing the same doctor, helps put the GMC’s guidance into context and is a strong reminder of the importance of placing the patient at the centre of care.

The resource also contains a mixture of guidance, case studies, scenarios, articles and tips to prepare doctors for caring for the growing number of older patients.

Over 65s make up over two thirds of NHS patients in the UK1 and there are now more people living with complex, and multiple, long-term conditions than ever. Clinicians need to be able to respond clearly, effectively and compassionately to their needs, and this new GMC resource will help them support patients in being active participants in their own care.

Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, said:

‘We know that care of older people in this country is too often not good enough – doctors have a key role in devising and providing treatment, co-ordinating care and in overseeing the whole process – we hope these learning materials will stimulate discussion and help to support doctors working with older people. 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. 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.’