The Institute of Ageing and Health was originally founded in 1971 as the West Midlands Institute of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, to provide a focus for good multidisciplinary practice and further education in the medical problems of older people and the establishment of an academic Chair. With funding from Sir Charles Hayward, Professor Bernard Isaacs came into post in 1975.
Membership has always been multidisciplinary, and the Institute has held educational events within the region, as well as publishing its own journal.
Academic healthcare of older people is now once again flourishing within the West Midlands, and the Trustees have made the decision to re-launch the Institute and to draw on the expertise of the clinical and social scientists based in our three local Universities. Due to Covid, this has been delayed, but please watch this space (and follow us on social media) for more details.
Ensuring the right numbers of skilled nursing staff in the right place at the right time is a laudable ambition of the new NHS Long Term Plan.
At the Royal College of Nursing we believe that this vision can only be realised if key individuals and organisations within the health care system – including the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – are accountable in law for safe staffing levels.
There are currently around 40,000 vacancies for registered nurses in England alone, and one of the reasons for this chronic shortage is that no one is responsible for guaranteeing there is enough staff to ensure patients receive consistently safe and good quality care.
This lack of clear accountability cannot be allowed to continue.
We need to decide if the Institute should be dissolved or continue at the AGM and seminar on 16 July 2019. We have an executive meeting on 21 May where a recommendation on this needs to be agreed.
Since the last AGM on 18 July 2018, there has been little interaction with new or old trustees and our Chair Dr Dayani has left Birmingham and will be seeking a replacement.
His view is that there is an important future role in:
“I think the Institute could be very useful as a think-tank/forum for ideas on healthcare issues wider than care of the elderly. It is independent; its membership is largely frontline and academic health and social care workers who have an opportunity to say things as they see them (with appropriate solutions). There is a need for such a voice as unfortunately the NHS and Social Care are failing to impact dramatically on outcomes within the West Midlands and arguably more widely.”
“There is almost no part of the NHS that does not have a people problem.
... changing the way, we do things is painful, uncomfortable and contested but is probably the only way out.
Interwoven are the paradoxes; technology changes faster than we are prepared to evolve our services. Outpatients fingered by Britnell and singled out in the LTP, the unreformed backwater of a 60's NHS.
In an OECD survey 70% of doctors and 80% of nurses reported being over-skilled for aspects of their work. It is a criminal waste.
Britnell calls on us to reframe the debate about workforce-planning and shift our thinking to productivity, health and wealth creation. He has been to 77 countries; he knows what's what.”