Care of the Elderly

Care of the Elderly (also called Elderly Care or Geriatric Medicine) is the specialty which looks after older people who have a number of long-term medical conditions, rather than focusing on a single issue.

Our Elderly Care Team aims to help patients recover from the condition that brought them into hospital while also dealing with their other health and social issues.  The Elderly Care Team includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers. We also work closely with many other hospital and community teams, including mental health and palliative care.

There is no specific age cut-off for Elderly Care but patients often have problems with walking, falls, confusion or incontinence (or a combination of these) as well as acute medical conditions such as infections or heart problems.

Inpatient services

Patients who are referred to Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust with general medical problems are first seen either by the Clinical Assessment & Triage Team (if admitted during weekday working hours), or by the physician on call. Frail patients with a number of medical conditions are referred to the Elderly Care Team.

Short stay patients:

Our consultants see elderly patients staying with us for a short period of time on daily rounds of the Clinical Assessment, Triage & Treatment Ward (CATT) or the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). The consultants are supported by the Community Rehabilitation & Fast Response Team to promote supported early discharge.

Frail patients:

The consultants visit inpatients on the Frailty Unit on Byland Ward and Jervaulx Ward. The focus for these visits is goal-oriented rehabilitation and efficient discharge planning.

Stroke patients:

Our Lead Stroke Clinician, Dr Sean Brotheridge, and one of the neurologists provide stroke services on Oakdale Ward. These include thrombolysis (clot-busting drugs) for acute stroke, and rehabilitation. Please note that access to community stroke rehabilitation is via either the Harrogate or Leeds Community Stroke Teams.

Farndale & Wensleydale – Orthogeriatrics:

All patients admitted with a hip fracture are under the shared care of our Clinical Lead for Orthogeriatrics, Dr Rebecca Leigh, and one of the orthopaedic surgeons. Dr Leigh is also involved with a number of elective orthopaedic or non-hip fracture patients who have medical issues. All patients will be seen on either Farndale Ward or Wensleydale Ward, and will undergo a falls assessment and a bone health assessment during their stay. All hip fracture patients are entered on the National Hip Fracture Database.

In addition to these specialist services, our consultants also visit Trinity Ward at Ripon Community Hospital on a weekly basis.

Outpatient services

We run a variety of clinics for outpatients at both Harrogate District Hospital and Ripon Community Hospital. These are:

Transient ischaemic attack and stroke clinic
Clinician: Dr Sean Brotheridge
Location: Elmwood Day Unit, Harrogate District Hospital
Day: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Referral: faxed form from GP or Emergency Department.

Multidisciplinary falls clinic
Clinician: Dr Jo McCreanor
Location: Elmwood Day Unit, Harrogate District Hospital
Day: Friday mornings
Referral: by GP (Choose & Book or Falls referral form)

General medical/elderly clinic
Clinician: Dr Paisley/Dr Gunaratna/Dr Ralston
Location: Harrogate District Hospital
Day: alternate Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Referral: by GP (Choose & Book)

General medical/elderly clinic
Clinician: Dr Rebecca Watt
Location: Ripon Community Hospital
Day: alternate Wednesday mornings
Referral: by GP (Choose & Book)

Orthogeriatric follow-up clinic
Clinician: Dr Rebecca Leigh
Location: Elmwood Day Unit, Harrogate District Hospital
Day: Tuesday mornings
Referral: no new appointments on Choose & Book but happy to take referral letters for relevant patients

We also offer domiciliary visits which are uncommon but can be arranged.

Dying Matters

Dying Matters Week 2017 took place between 8-14 May. Many services in the Trust got involved to raise awareness of dying, death and bereavement.

This insightful short clip, features Noreen Hawkshaw, Lead Nurse for Cancer and End of Life Care at the Trust, and introduces a series of other short videos relevant to the topic.

The collection of videos can be found by clicking here.

John’s Campaign

The Trust has signed up to the national John’s Campaign for taking care of the carers of people living with dementia. We strive to offer people living with dementia the best care available during their hospital stay. We welcome relatives and carers visiting at any time in order to provide reassurance and familiarity to our patients. We support carers who wish to become involved in activities with their loved one, such as helping at meal times and providing conversation and diversional activities if this is something that they wish to do. We hope that by doing this, it will help any hospital admission to be less frightening for people living with dementia and will also allow improved communication and exchange of information.

Useful links