Research helps frail older people in hospitals

27 April 2018

A team led by Leicester scientists and clinicians has devised a ‘risk score’ which will be used to help frail older people have better support in hospital.

Using the concept of frailty (which captures vulnerability), researchers have created a risk score that will help identify older people who are more vulnerable.

This will help commissioners and hospitals identify this group of people, evaluate their outcomes and improve services to be more responsive to their needs.

Simon Conroy, geriatrician at Leicester’s Hospitals and professor at the University of Leicester Department of Health Sciences, said: “Leicester researchers are leading the way in improving outcomes for older people with frailty who have to come to hospital. Many older people attend hospitals throughout the UK every day, but some are more vulnerable than others.

“The ‘Hospital Frailty Risk Score’ was able to identify older people at significantly increased risk of harms, longer stays in hospital and readmission following discharge from hospital.

“It is hoped that by identifying and focusing upon this high risk group that hospitals will be able to provide more holistic care to vulnerable older people to improve their outcomes.”

Collaborators involved include the Nuffield Trust, the Universities of Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton and the London School of Economics.

The research, funded by NIHR, is published on 26 April 2018 in The Lancet and can be found here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30668-8/fulltext.

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