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Optimising care for the older surgical patient

Developed by: UKCPA Surgery & Theatres Group


21, Jun 2017


Roben’s Suite,
Guy’s Hospital,
Great Maze Pond,

£ Prices

Member Price: £130
Non-Member Price: £199

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RPS Accredited Training Provider


This event has been designed for pharmacists involved in the care of adult surgical patients. The day will focus on issues predominant in older patients on surgical wards, and is suitable for pharmacists who have recently specialised as well as those who are working at early advanced levels.

Older patients coming to hospital for surgical interventions often present with a variety of challenges, including underlying multi-morbidity, polypharmacy, and increased risk of organ failure, delirium, or other complications. As a pharmacist you are optimally placed to intervene for the benefit of your patients, managing medication risks and ensuring smooth transition of care.

The aim of this day is to equip pharmacists with the skills to optimise pharmaceutical care for older surgical patients, to identify and understand the main issues affecting their management, including sessions on dementia and delirium care, bone health, regional anaesthesia and the management of polypharmacy, and to highlight the importance of cooperating across professions and organisations to achieve the best outcome for the individual patient.

Download the event programme here

Target audience

  • Pharmacists involved in the care of adult surgical patients.
  • Pharmacists who have recently specialised in the area of surgery
  • Pharmacists working at early advanced levels

Learning outcomes

At the end of this event, participants should be able to: 

Core advanced 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the use of local anaesthetics and describes treatment options and pros and cons. 
  • Understand the different characteristics of various local and regional anaesthetic agents, specific agent risks, benefits and their impact on surgical pathways, including enhanced recovery e.g. nerve blocks, wound infiltration. 
  • Describe the interplay between health and social care and its impact on pharmaceutical care. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of agencies involved in community care and the effect of this on medicines management. 
  • Identify the barriers to optimising medicines when working across healthcare interfaces and employ strategies to overcome them. 
  • Describe the application of assessment of older people e.g. comprehensive geriatric assessment, cognitive assessments, falls, venous thromboembolism (VTE). 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes in older people as they relate to drug handling. 
  • Discuss the pathophysiology and risk factors for the development of osteoporosis and osteopenia. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanism of action, characteristics and clinical use of treatments for osteoporosis, including national guidance and its relationship with corticosteroid use. 
  • Discuss the pathophysiology and risk factors for falls in older people. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding the mechanism of action, characteristics and clinical use of treatments for multidisciplinary management (drug and non-drug) of falls with multifactorial prevention strategies. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of definition and epidemiology of dementia, pathology and clinical features of individual dementias and management of this condition. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options in dementia, including behavioural and psychological symptoms. 
  • Discuss pathophysiology and risk factors for the development of delirium. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options in delirium and outline the current concepts around management of this condition. 
  • Summarise the differences between a broad range of agents used for the management of delirium, including mechanism of action, pharmacology and pharmacokinetic characteristics, clinical use and monitoring parameters. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the possible toxic effects of drugs in patients taking multiple medicines, especially for patients with sub-optimal organ function. 

Specialist advanced 

  • Describe commonly undertaken orthopaedic surgical procedures (e.g. total hip replacement), the implications of altered anatomy, surgical management and pharmacological treatment associated with these procedures. 

Additional learning outcomes: 

  • Discuss the concept of using regional anaesthesia and sedation in place of general anaesthesia, criteria for patient selection, choice of medicines, the associated benefits and risks, and required monitoring. 

The learning outcomes for this event are met by means of lectures, small group discussions and case discussions. 

Additional information

Peer discussion opportunities will be available at this event, which can also be used towards your CPD and portfolios. Advanced booking essential.