'Silver Book' provides advice on emergency care for older people
People over 70 years of age account for more than two million attendances each year at UK hospitals – that’s 15% of all attendances.
An important new document was published this week, The Silver Book, compiling guidelines and recommendations for best practice in dealing with urgent and emergency care of older people. The project leads were Dr Jay Bannerjee from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, who is an associate with our School of Medical and Social Care Education, and Dr Simon Conroy, Honorary Senior Lecturer in our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences who is also Head of Geriatric Medicine at UHL.
Aimed at clinicians and managers throughout the NHS, The Silver Book is based on extensive research throughout the available literature. Jay and Simon also convened a group of experts so that the best ideas could be voted on using what is called the ‘modified nominal group technique’.
The book covers all aspects of acute care for older people during the initial 24 hours after an incident, whether provided by ambulance services, emergency departments, urgent care units, walk-in-centres or any other part of the Health Service.
The project was a collaboration between 13 major health organisations including the British Geriatrics Society (of which Simon was Honorary Secretary last year). It has four specific aims:
- Help decrease variations in practice
- Influence the development of appropriate services across the urgent care system
- Identify and disseminate best practice
- Influence policy development
The Silver Book’s three Specialist Advisors were Matthew Cooke, David Oliver and Alistair Burns, respectively National Clinical Directors for Urgent and Emergency Care, Older People and Dementia. In their foreword they state:
The full 102-page document is downloadable as a PDF (1.1MB) from Simon’s webpages, along with a 12-page ‘short version’, a five-page executive summary, individual sections of the book and presentations about the project.