The RCP has welcomed the focus on raising standards of care for older people contained in the NHS operating framework 2012/2013. Dr Linda Patterson, RCP clinical vice president, said:
The RCP is committed to raising standards of care for older people, through its national clinical audits, quality improvement programmes and its forthcoming partnership work with the RCN and the nursing profession on improving communication between doctors and nurses.
Doctors have a professional responsibility to treat all patients holistically with compassion and dignity, and there is also a need for good teamwork and clinical leadership. As older people in hospitals are often in wards other than specialist geriatric wards, doctors and nurses working in non-geriatric wards need to have the knowledge and skills to care for older people.
The RCP is also working on the relationship between generalism and specialism in hospitals, to ensure that generalist skills are available in future.