Emerge sent two research nurses to the Autumn meeting of the British Geriatric Society (BGS). Jill Steven and Allan MacRaild are recruiting to a study entitled The 4AT as a triage test for delirium: a validation study in acutely hospitalised older patients.
This study is a first collaboration between Emerge and Medicine of the Elderly with this study being led by Professor Alasdair MacLullich. Jill and Allan were keen to strengthen these connections by attending the BGS meeting, which featured Clinical Ageing Research as a key theme.
Professor Gillian Mead chaired this section of the programme and passionately stressed the importance of clinical research to older people. She drew attention to the impact of a Cochrane Collaboration review into comprehensive geriatric assessment and the direct benefits to patient care. This has become a benchmark for increased research activity with older people particularly in the context of a growing ageing population.
Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Lorraine Haining, presented the work of NHS Dumfries and Galloway in developing interventions for dementia. She spoke of the success of a programme of education, assessment and support for hospital and care home staff caring for patients with dementia. This programme led to a reduction in antipsychotic medication costs and the introduction of the Scottish Delirium Association pathway for delirium care.
A particular highlight of the day was the enthusiastic presentation from Dr Amanda Barugh giving her personal research journey experiences. As an early career researcher, Dr Barugh, highlighted the benefits of clinical research to her own development as a professional and also shared some of the challenges in pioneering a research pathway alongside clinical practice.
The day also covered the topics of Patient Safety and Medication Challenges thus providing a fascinating and useful focus on this patient population.
Emerge hopes to raise the profile of delirium care through the 4AT trial and make a contribution to future improvements.