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Geriatric medicine in Bath

Expert management of multiple, complex conditions in older patients

Geriatric Medicine is the branch of medicine involved with providing medical care for older patients. It is an incredibly broad speciality, encompassing all aspects of health and illness in the older population. A doctor who specialises in this field is known as a Consultant Geriatrician.

Many of the people who visit Bath Clinic in Bath, South West England, are older patients who have one or more health problems they would appreciate expert help with. Often, they have become frustrated at seeing a different GP each time they visit their local GP surgery and having to explain their symptoms all over again. (Other times, they may be finding it hard to even see a GP in person!)

Alternatively, you may be seeking medical assessment and help for one of your parents but aren’t sure who to see, what needs doing or even where to start.

If this describes you, please do not worry – you are not alone. We are here to help you. The three highly experienced Consultant Geriatricians working on-site at Bath Clinic provide expert assessment, diagnosis and management of illness and health concerns for older patients. They would be delighted to meet with you and to help you to get the support you need quickly.

An unfortunate reality of ageing is that health problems will often become more common. Common reasons people visit our Consultant Geriatricians for help include:

  • Falls
  • Memory loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Breathlessness
  • Movement disorders – such as those caused by Parkinson’s Disease or Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Tremors
  • Loss of consciousness (syncope)
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of mobility
  • Incontinence

As can be seen by the list above, Geriatric Medicine covers an extremely varied range of symptoms and conditions!

A particular challenge of modern medicine is that it is broken down into lots of different specialities. For example, if you have a hip problem, you will normally see a hip surgeon. For a heart problem, you will often be referred to a cardiologist, while a problem with your eyes may lead to referral to an ophthalmologist.

This speciality-based approach can certainly be helpful when you have one specific problem, giving you access to the most appropriate person for assessment and treatment. The difficulty comes when you have multiple conditions at the same time, sometimes causing overlapping symptoms. How do you know which specialist to see first, or which treatment will be best for you? To add even more complexity, an older patient may respond to treatment differently to a younger patient and will often be on a number of different medications which require careful management.

A private Geriatric Medicine appointment can help give clarity about the best way forward. Our consultants are experts in managing multiple complex conditions in older patients and can help determine which specialists would be of most help and which order to see them in.

Taking a holistic approach, they will work closely with your GP, social worker and anyone else involved with your care to ensure you receive the support you need at every stage. Many older patients, and their families, find that having one person overseeing their care is a huge help and gives them real peace of mind through what can sometimes be quite an uncertain and changeable phase of life.

On-site at Bath Clinic we have fast access to healthcare professionals in a range of specialities, including:

Your consultant can also call upon help from neurologists, dieticians, speech and language therapists and physiotherapists where required.

We know it can sometimes be difficult to leave the house and travel to an appointment, so for your convenience our three Consultant Geriatricians offer home visits where appropriate.

A number of conditions that commonly affecting older patients will not be able to be treated in just one appointment. Instead, treatment will often be an ongoing process, involving shared decision making and reviews.

For that reason, when you first meet with your consultant at Bath Clinic, they will spend a good amount of time talking with you in detail about your symptoms, your general health and about any concerns or worries you may have.

This appointment is your opportunity to talk about your symptoms in a safe, relaxed environment with somebody who understand and appreciates the particular challenges faced by older patients with health problems.

For example, many people are quite anxious about losing their independence because of health limitations. It is important to acknowledge these kinds of concerns as they have a big impact on your ability to enjoy life.

It can be helpful to have another person come with you to this appointment, and many people choose to bring a husband, wife, son, daughter or close friend with them. Having somebody else with you can help make sure you don’t forget to mention any symptoms or concerns. They will often remember things said by the consultant that you may have missed because you were concentrating on something else.

Having discussed your symptoms, both current and any previous ones, your consultant will carry out a full physical examination in order to assess your general health. This will involve checking things like your breathing, heart rate, mobility, flexibility and posture.

They may also carry out tests to measure your memory.

Once they have talked with you and carried out a physical examination, they will discuss the next steps with you. This may involve something related to your treatment, such as adjusting your medication (either dose, frequency or a change in the actual medication) or referring you for further investigations.

Common investigations include:

  • X-ray
  • CT or MRI scan of the brain, chest, abdomen or pelvis
  • Lung function test
  • 24-hour heart monitor (Holter monitor)
  • Colonoscopy – to examine your bowels
  • Balance assessment – carried out by our superb physiotherapists

The nature of General Medicine means that your consultant works very closely with specialist in other fields, including oncology, haematology, general surgery, gastroenterology and cardiology. All these specialities are available on-site at Bath Clinic, making referral and assessment simple.

Once the results of any investigations are back, your consultant will meet with you again to talk through them and to discuss their recommended treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to explore these with you.

It is always important that you have the information you need to make an informed choice about any treatment. If you are unsure or unclear about anything, always let your consultant know so that they can clarify things with you.

Treatment is an ongoing process involving close collaboration between you, your consultant and any family members you would like to be involved. 

People living in Bath and the surrounding areas, including Wiltshire and Somerset, rely on the Consultant Geriatricians at Bath Clinic for their ongoing care. 

Many people are referred to us directly by their GP, physiotherapist, another consultant, the NHS Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath or by their private medical insurance provider.

We treat people with private medical insurance and self-pay patients

When you choose Bath Clinic for your help, you will benefit from:

  • Help from an expert – If you are an older patient suffering with multiple medical conditions, the very last thing you will want is to be passed around between doctors in different specialities while they try to work out what is going on with you. Instead, you will appreciate being able to see one person for help, advice, assessment and management of your conditions.
  • No waiting lists – We can quickly and easily arrange an appointment for you with an experienced Consultant Geriatrician, who will help you to access the support and help you need without delay.
  • Continuity of care – A Consultant Geriatrician will oversee every aspect of your care, from your very first appointment through to treatment and ongoing review. They will work closely with you and any family members as you adjust to any changes and challenges caused by health issues. Treatment options will always be discussed fully with you so that you can make an informed choice about treatment. If you ever have a concern or query, it is easy to get in touch with your consultant by phoning their secretary directly.
  • Remote appointments available – Geriatric Medicine appointments are usually carried out in person at Bath Clinic, but we can also provide remote consultations by telephone or video call when required and where clinically appropriate.
  • Home visits available – Where it is just too difficult or challenging to leave your home and come to the hospital for an appointment, our consultants are able to visit you at home.
  • Tailored treatment – When you have a number of complex health conditions, it is important that any treatment is tailored to your unique circumstances and needs. Treatment should also be regularly reviewed, so that it can be adjusted if needed to continue providing you with the symptom relief you need.
  • Teamwork – Bath Clinic offers fast access to specialists in other fields, including neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons, radiologists and physiotherapists. This multidisciplinary team approach means you will also see the most appropriate person for your specific needs, no matter how complex your health needs.
  • Recommended by patients - In an independent survey, 97.9% of people treated at Bath Clinic said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend us to their friends and family.
  • Stunning location – Bath Clinic is located approximately two miles from the centre of historic Bath, set within beautifully landscaped grounds and just next to a National Trust property. It is easy to travel to us by private or public transport, and our 100-space car park is free for patients and visitors.
  • A friendly welcome – Unlike many large modern hospitals, which can often feel quite impersonal (and can sometimes be easy to get lost in due to their size!), the historic exterior of Bath Clinic offers a refreshingly warm welcome. As you walk through the doors, you will enter an extremely modern hospital offering state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

If you would appreciate meeting with one of our experienced consultants to discuss your particular needs or to review your current treatment plan, why not book your Geriatric Medicine appointment now? We very much look forward to welcoming you to Bath Clinic and helping you to get the support you need without delay.