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Visiting academics

Martin, Prof Finbarr

Professor of Medical Gerontology (hon.)

Consultant Physician at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Contact details:

Office: Elderly Care Unit, St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH

Phone:+44 (0)20 7188 2515 (secretary, Sandra)

E-mail: or


BSc Medical Sciences/Physiology, London, 1970

MB BS London, 1974

MRCP (Royal Colleges of Medicine, UK), 1977

MSc Biochemistry (distinction), London, 1982

MD (by research thesis on muscle wasting). London, 1984

FRCP London, 1990

FRCSLT (Hon), 1996

GMC Registration: No. 2212234: General Medicine and Geriatric Medicine

After training in general medicine and completing research in the clinical and biochemical aspects of acquired muscle wasting in adults, Finbarr Martin trained in geriatric medicine at Hammersmith Hospital, London, and was appointed consultant physician in general and geriatric medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1984. He has worked in a broad range of services for older people in acute hospitals and in community settings.

His clinical work currently includes inpatient acute care and rehabilitation, including orthogeriatrics, clinics for Parkinson’s disease and other mobility problems, and medical support for community based Intermediate Care and care homes in Lambeth. He has led the development and evaluation of novel clinical service models for older people, including several national “firsts”, such as domiciliary based intermediate care and a specialist team to support care home residents.

He teaches medical students, supervises PhD students and co-supervised the Institute’s Health and Healthcare in Gerontology module (7SSAM113), part of the Gerontology masters programmes, until 2009. His research interests are in the “geriatric syndromes” of falls, frailty and delirium and service innovations to address these clinical challenges.

He has led national audit programmes on falls and fragility fractures, and is co-chair of the DH funded but clinically led National Hip Fracture Database. He is the elected president of the British Geriatrics Society (2010-2012).



His research is on clinical care and service development around falls, frailty, delirium and intermediate care (post-acute illnes rehabilitation). His clinical research group developed and published (BMJ 1997) the definitive predictive assessment tool for inpatient fallers (STRATIFY), and the first RCT (1994) of the current model of domiciliary care (supported discharge teams). local evaluation of Intermediate Care builds on our first RCT (1994), which validated the predominant NHS service model of supported discharge teams. The collaborative work on delirium has clarified the association between severity and outcome of delirium with biological factors such as cytokines.

He has been principle or co-applicant on 6 grants held since 1999, totalling almost £200,000, and has 22 peer-reviewed research publications since 2003.


1. Weissberger AJ, Anastasiadis AD, Sturgess I, Martin FC, Smith MA, Sönksen PH. Recombinant Human Growth Hormone Treatment in Elderly Patients Undergoing Elective Total Hip Replacement. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2003; 58(1):99-107.

2. Yeo A-L, Levy D, Martin FC, Sonksen PH, Sturgess I, Wheeler MM, Young A. Biochemical effects of Recombinant human growth hormone in women after surgery for hip fracture. Growth Hormone and IGF Research 2003; Dec; 13(6):361-70.

3. Syddall H, Cooper C, Martin FC, Briggs R, Sayer AA. Is grip strength a useful single marker of biological age and frailty? Age and Ageing 2003; 32: 650-656.

4. Oliver D, Daly F, Martin FC, McMurdo MET. Risk Factors and Risk Assessment Tools for Falls in Hospital Inpatients: A Systematic Review. Age Ageing 2004; Mar;33 (2):122-30.

5. Martin FC, Hart DJ, Spector TD, Doyle D, Harari D. Fear of Falling Limiting Activity in Young-Old Women is Associated with Reduced Functional Mobility rather than Psychological Factors. Age Ageing 2005; 34(3):281-7.

6. Giannoulis MG, Sonksen PH, Umpleby M, Breen L, Pentecost C, Whyte M, McMillan
CV, Bradley C, Martin FC. The Effects of Growth Hormone and/or Testosterone in Healthy Elderly Men: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006; 91(2): 477-484

7. Adamis D, Treloar A, Martin FC, Gregson N, Hamilton G, Macdonald AJ.
APOE and cytokines as biological markers for recovery of prevalent delirium in elderly medical inpatients.
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;22(7):688-94.

8. Oliver D, Connelly JB, Victor CR, Shaw FE, Whitehead A, Genc Y, Vanoli A, Martin FC, Gosney MA The prevention of falls and fractures in hospitals and care homes. Systematic review and meta-analyses of clinical studies of prevention strategies, with an exploration of cognitive impairment as an effect modifier. BMJ. 2007 Jan 13;334(7584):82. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

9. Harari D, Hopper AH, Dhesi J, Babic-Illman, G, Lockwood L, Martin FC.
Proactive Care of Older People undergoing Surgery ('POPS'): Designing, embedding, evaluating and funding a comprehensive geriatric assessment service for older elective surgical patients.Age Ageing. 2007; 36: 190-196

10. Harari D, Martin FC, Buttery A, O'Neill S, Hopper A. The older persons' assessment and liaison team 'OPAL': evaluation of comprehensive geriatric assessment in acute medical inpatients. Age Ageing. 2007 Nov;36 (6):670-5. Epub 2007 Jul 26.


Current and Recent Grants Held (* = principal investigator )

Action Research
1999-2001,  £77.000
Randomised controlled trial (RCT): nutritional supplementation for frail elderly women with osteoporosis.

*Charitable Foundation of Guys & St Thomas'
 2001-2003, £167,000
RCT: Growth hormone and/or Testosterone effect on strength/function of older men.
*Charitable Foundation of Guys & St Thomas'
2002-2003, £22,000
Development of a condition specific health-related quality of life tool.
Department of Health
2004-2006, £48,000
Systematic review of falls injury prevention strategies for older people with cognitive impairment.

Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) CASE PhD Studentship (Supervisor)
2005-8, £48,000
An investigation of the impact of a Falls Prevention Exercise Programme for older people on subsequent social functioning and psychosocial well-being.

Research into ageing PhD studentship (with Prof Di Newham, KCL)
2007-2010, £67,000
The effect of whole body vibration therapy on older people.  £67K

PhD Students

Anne Laybourne: An investigation of the impact of a Falls Prevention Exercise Programme for older people on subsequent social functioning and psychosocial well-being.
Supervisors: Simon Biggs and Finbarr Martin
Dr Carl (Pai Chu) Chen: Use of proteomics in the investigation of ageing brain
Supervisors: Dr Jane Preston and Finbarr Martin
Ross Pollock: The effect of whole body vibration therapy on older people
(with Prof Di Newham, 2007-10) 


Health and Healthcare in Gerontology (7SSAM113): Co-ordinator with Karen Lowton 

Knowledge Transfer

Clinical Guidelines
2001 and 200-8 Panel member (for content expertise): "Anglo-American" Falls Guideliness – these guidelines are widely influential in service provision in the UK and elsewhere.

Clinical Audit
I am lead clinician on the Healthcare Commission funded National Audits on Falls and Bone Health services for older people.
(2005-2008, 1st cycle completed, 2008 -2011 2nd cycle underway)

PhD Topics

Finbarr is interested in collaborating in the supervision of students who wish to study aspects of falls and rehabilitation, intermediate care and care homes medicine.
Prospective students interested in working in these areas should look at our PhD admissions web page.

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