'Silver Book' provides advice on emergency care for older people

Posted by mjs76 at Jun 29, 2012 04:05 PM |
Important new NHS guidelines published, compiled by Leicester medical experts.
'Silver Book' provides advice on emergency care for older people

Dr Simon Conroy

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 Silver Book should be the ideal companion to everyone who may come into contact with an older person in the acute setting and for whom the best treatment and care of that older person, while preserving their independence and dignity are the highest priority. It will also provide an important reference for those commissioning such services or studying the quality of the care delivered.
The Silver Book (full version)

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.

Media coverage of The Silver Book

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