Acute geriatrics at the front door

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Older people with frailty and urgent care needs are major uses of health and social care services. Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is an evidence-based approach to improving their outcomes, as well as improving service outcomes. Geriatricians form a small proportion of the overall workforce and cannot address the population need alone, so all clinicians (doctors, nurses, therapists and so on) need to engage in delivering CGA as a process of care, underpinned by specific competencies – which can be developed. Delivery of this care pathway needs to be measured and improved as rigorously as campaigns like those for improving sepsis or eradicating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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