Society for Acute Medicine comment on King’s Fund, ‘Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population’ paper

Press Release – Strictly under embargo until Thursday 6th March 2014, 00.01

Commenting on the King’s Fund, ‘Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population’ paper, published today (Thursday 6 March) Dr Mark Holland,Vice-President of the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) said:

“As a geriatrician working in an Acute Medical Unit (AMU), where 25% of patients are aged 85-years and above, I am only too familiar with the deficiencies highlighted in the report. The recommendations in the King’s Fund paper ‘Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population’ are eminently sensible and without controversy.

“With the Francis Report still fresh in our minds, it is a welcome antidote, articulating solutions that are well within our grasp. The King’s Fund report conveys a sense of optimism with excellent examples of good practice, implemented through an integrated and joined-up approach to care which SAM fully endorses. Whatever strategies are used to avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital; a significant number of older people will continue to require hospital care.  By acknowledging this need, SAM is fully committed to providing the very best care for older people.

“This report suggests that areas could be created within the AMU where care is specifically tailored to the needs of older people. The Society again endorses this view; indeed multidisciplinary working was a founding principle of acute medicine.  There are examples of this practice already emerging and led by the collaborative working of acute physicians and geriatricians.  At Salford Royal Hospital, colleagues are working to establish an acute frailty unit with both managerial and clinical links to community services. Co-located in the general AMU, the service also affords older people excellent access to all of the acute services necessary when caring for a sick patient, irrespective of age. The overarching theme of the report is joined-up working and to this end the Society for Acute Medicine wishes to work with other agencies to develop the very best services for older people.”


Notes to the editors:

  • Acute medicine (also known as acute internal medicine) is the specialty which deals with the immediate and early treatment of adult patients with a variety of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.
  • The Society for Acute Medicine is the national representative body for the speciality of acute medicine and represents around a thousand members.
  • Dr Mark Holland, was first appointed as consultant geriatrician at University Hospital of South Manchester 1999 and commenced as a consultant acute physician in 2004. He was elected vice-president of the Society for Acute Medicine in October 2013.
  • The Society has previously contributed to ‘Quality Care for Older People with Urgent & Emergency Care Needs (The Silverbook) and the Royal College of Physicians (London) ‘Acute care toolkit 3: Acute medical care for frail older people’.
  • The King’s Fund report will be available on their website on Thursday 6 March at 00.01.


Claire Charras

Communications and Marketing Executive

Society for Acute Medicine

07 985 494 965