Frailty degree aims to shore up support for Lincolnshire’s ageing population

Healthcare professionals and the University of Lincoln have developed a new degree in frailty as part of efforts to support an ageing population in the county.

The MSc Specialist Practice Frail Older Adults for Health and Social Care is open to nurses, therapists, care staff, social workers and other healthcare professionals from September.

This year workers from across the health and care sector have filled all 18 fully funded places on the part-time course.

Frailty can include those who are at risk of falls, have trouble managing their day to day life and getting around, are receiving end of life care, have dementia, or take a number of different types of medication.

In Lincolnshire, where more than 22% of the population is over 65 and the number of over 75s is projected to more than double in size in the next 20 years, frailty is one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare system.

An LHAC report from June revealed the shortages of doctors, nurses and other skilled professionals like radiographers and therapists, as well as an ageing workforce with many professionals, including GPs in particular, nearing retirement.

Felicity Begley, a physiotherapist by background, who is currently completing her first year of the two year course, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be studying for a new qualification in Lincolnshire which really meets the needs of our population.

“We have the chance to consider together how we can work in a more integrated way to improve patient care for frail older adults within Lincolnshire.”

Allan Kitt, Chief Officer for Lincolnshire South West CCG, and the LHAC programme said: “We want to position Lincolnshire at the forefront of innovative, modern health services and make it an attractive place to learn about integrated working in a rural population.

“This is another exciting initiative which will help us not only to attract new talent but develop existing talent within Lincolnshire.”

Find out more about the degree on the University of Lincoln’s website.