Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Contribution from geriatric medicine within acute medical wards.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 14 July 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:90
  1. L E Burley,
  2. C T Currie,
  3. R G Smith,
  4. J Williamson


    In 1977 a scheme of attachment to acute medical wards of consultants in geriatric medicine and associated junior medical staff was instituted in a large Edinburgh teaching hospital. The effect on admissions of patients aged 65 and over was examined for comparable periods before and during this arrangement. Mean and median stays were reduced for both sexes but more noticeably for women. The mean stay for all women aged over 65 was reduced from 25 to 16 days and for women aged over 85 from 50 to 19 days. The proportion staying under two weeks was significantly increased in both sexes, and the proportion discharged home also increased, correspondingly fewer patients being transferred to convalescent wards. These changes were not accompanied by increased transfers to the geriatric department, and probably the skills and extra resources available to the geriatric service were the factors mainly responsible for the changes in performance.