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Where are we now in perioperative medicine? Results from a repeated UK survey of geriatric medicine delivered services for older people

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Andrea Joughin, Judith Stephanie Louise Partridge, Tessa O'Halloran, Jugdeep Kaur Dhesi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Early online date2019
E-pub ahead of print2019
Published1 May 2019

King's Authors


Introduction: national reports highlight deficiencies in the care of older patients undergoing surgery. A 2013 survey showed less than a third of NHS trusts had geriatrician-led perioperative medicine services for older surgical patients. Barriers to establishing services included funding, workforce and limited interspecialty collaboration. Since then, national initiatives have supported the expansion of geriatrician-led services for older surgical patients. This repeat survey describes geriatrician-led perioperative medicine services in comparison with 2013, exploring remaining barriers to developing perioperative medicine services for older patients. Methods: An electronic survey was sent to clinical leads for geriatric medicine at 152 acute NHS healthcare trusts in the UK. Reminders were sent on four occasions over an 8-week period. The survey examined the nature of the services provided, extent of collaborative working and barriers to service development. Responses were analysed descriptively. Results: eighty-one (53.3%) respondents provide geriatric medicine services for older surgical patients, compared to 38 (29.2%) in 2013. Services exist across surgical specialties, especially in orthopaedics and general surgery. Fourteen geriatrician-led preoperative clinics now exist. Perceived barriers to service development remain workforce issues and funding. Interspecialty collaboration has increased, evidenced by joint audit meetings (33% from 20.8%) and collaborative guideline development (31% from 17%). Conclusion: since 2013, an increase in whole-pathway geriatric medicine involvement is observed across surgical specialties. However, considerable variation persists across the UK with scope for wider adoption of services facilitated through a national network.

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