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Top tips for tackling frailty and COPD


A comprehensive geriatric assessment and a holistic approach in primary care is key to reducing the impact of frailty and co-morbidities in older patients with COPD.

This is the approach of Dr Chris Dyer, Consultant Geriatrician at the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bath, who will be giving a presentation on this topic at the PCRS Respiratory Conference 2019

“This issue is very topical because COPD is going to be a target for the new Primary Care Networks which are currently being established.  The networks will enable clinicians to work and liaise together as local teams to improve care,” he says.

Chris will be giving delegates some practical tips on how to do a simple, but comprehensive assessment of the frail patient with COPD, tackle polypharmacy and rationalise treatment.  He will also talk about some new evidence on the benefits of rehabilitating older people with COPD and what to do when guidelines for different conditions contradict each other.

“These older respiratory patients are likely to have several co-morbidities such as dementia or osteoporosis. So for example when a patient with respiratory disease has got dementia what inhalers can we use and how can we manage the patient’s symptoms when they have less understanding of their condition,” he asks.

Other issues to assess could be whether the patient’s bones have thinned because of the steroids they have been taking, whether their vision has been reduced because of cataracts and whether they need better footwear so that they can become more mobile and make the most of a referral for pulmonary rehabilitation.

“I will be bringing all these things together to describe the process a comprehensive geriatric assessment to explain how all members of the primary care team can improve the lot of the frail older person with comorbidities, other than just purely improve their breathing. 

Chris has always had a keen interest in respiratory disease, pulmonary rehabilitation and COPD. His MD was on Asthma in Older Adults and he has published several research articles on the ageing lung. He is a member of the National Taskforce for Lung Health and has contributed to respiratory guidelines on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.

The programme for this year’s conference is designed to help delegates to discover new ways of working and learn how to respond positively to the challenges of primary and community care.

It offers:

  • Clinical symposia  – essential clinical updates from respiratory experts
  • Keynote plenaries
  • Service development sessions –  covering key service development and commissioning issues and featuring best practice case studies
  • Research presentations in conjunction with npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
  • Practical skills workshops, in conjunction with Education for Health
  • Satellite sessions in conjunction with our pharmaceutical partners

We have registration fees starting at just £165 for nurses / allied health professionals and £250 for GPs who are PCRS members, plus the opportunity of a £100 bursary towards travel and accommodation. Non-members can also take advantage of substantial conference registration savings by joining prior to registration. If you would like to benefit from these Early Bird rates, register now - this offer ends 30th June.