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Ageing themes

Geriatric Medicine


The Cicely Saunders Institute is the first purpose built institute for research into palliative care. We offer palliative care courses and other resources relevant to palliative care. 

Palliative care is the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Palliative care provides an extra level of support for patients and their families whatever their diagnosis.  The goal is the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, and includes control of pain and other symptoms, as well as attention to psychological, social and spiritual problems.

The Institute brings together academics, healthcare professionals, community organisations, patients and carers in one centre and acts as the hub for a network of international research. It offers high quality palliative care solutions to patients, as well as providing education, patient information and support.


At King's, we are at the leading edge of research into the treatment of age-related diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and stroke. Our specialist departments pursue research into the causes and treatment of mental health problems in older people, with a number of strong groups working on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, depressions and psychoses.

We also have established teams concerned with care for the older patient. For example, Professor Irene Higginson and her team in the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation, who have published the WHO guide to Better palliative care for old people.

Research groups


Dr Claire Steves, The Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology 

Dr Claire J Steves is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, and an honorary Consultant at Guy's and St Thomas Hospital, and King's College Hospital. Dr Steves has links across King's Health Partners on clinical ageing research. Dr Steves took up her current post with the Department of Twin Research in 2014 and currently leads a team investigating frailty in an ageing cohort, this includes supervising PhD and MSc students. She remains clinically active specialising in the management of acute delirium in hospital settings and dementia in medically complex patients. Read more here.



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