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University of Bolton VC addresses international conference on safety of older people and wellbeing of healthcare staff

The University of Bolton’s President and Vice Chancellor welcomed  more than 150 delegates to a special international  conference to discuss the safety of older people and the wellbeing of healthcare staff.Professor George E Holmes DL told guests of the CESOP (Centre of Excellence for the Safety of Older People) and CRST (Centre of Remediation, Support and Training)  event that the University had made huge strides in health education provision in recent years.He said: “We have grown for the past 12-13 years, from nothing in healthcare, to over 3,500 students in this area.“We know that health equality is critical to improve the life chances of our communities. We are working closely nationally through the Centres and  with the Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN) to look at the tremendous disparities in health outcomes.“We want to work with them to help to address health inequality.”The University of Bolton’s Pro Vice Chancellor and Institute of Medicine’s Chair, Professor Iqbal Singh CBE , led a range of important discussions guided by experts in their respective healthcare and education fields.Guests included Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, Dame Clare Gerada, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Baroness Dido Harding , past Chair of the NHS, and Professor Leo Manas from Madrid.

Professor Singh CBE , who is also Founder and Chair of CESOP and CRST said: “A 65-year-old in the UK today has 20 years’ further life expectancy. The challenge is to reduce morbidity and disability for older people so they live healthier lives.“We need to develop a culture where we can reduce avoidable harm and ensure that older people are treated with dignity and compassion.”Mr Massey said: “Two thirds of doctors say workload burnout is a barrier to patient care. It also has severe consequences when it comes to staff retention.”Dame Clare said there had been a huge increase in the number of GPs seeking support  because of “burnout”.She said: “We recently saw our 25,000th GP. Between March 2020-21 we saw as many patients in that year as we did in our first 10 years.”Blackburn-born Sir David Behan CBE, Former Chair of Health Education England and Non- Executive Director of NHS England, joined the conference via video link from Geneva.Prof Zubair Hanslot gave a vote of thanks and outlined the progress in relation to the University of Bolton’s developing School of Medicine.The one-day conference was held at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Blackburn, with delegates and speakers also joining from Europe and Asia.Professor Holmes is also Patron of CRST (Centre of Remediation, Support and Training) which is hosted at the University of Bolton’s Queens Institute.