Research helps frail older people in hospitals

Researchers led by Leicester have devised a ‘risk score’ which will be used to help frail older people have better support in hospital.

Using the concept of frailty (which captures vulnerability), researchers from the Nuffield Trust and the Universities of Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton and the London School of Economics have created a risk score that will help identify older people who are more vulnerable.

This will help commissioners and hospitals identify this group of people, evaluate their outcomes and improve services to be more responsive to their needs.

Professor Simon Conroy, from the Department of Health Sciences and Geriatrician at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Leicester researchers are leading the way in improving outcomes for older people with frailty who have to come to hospital. Many older people attend hospitals throughout the UK every day, but some are more vulnerable than others.

“The ‘Hospital Frailty Risk Score’ was able to identify older people at significantly increased risk of harms, longer stays in hospital and readmission following discharge from hospital.

“It is hoped that by identifying and focussing upon this high risk group that hospitals will be able to provide more holistic care to vulnerable older people to improve their outcomes.”