The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged healthcare systems. As a new disease, the best evidence for patient management is still being collected. This is particularly true for older people with existing health problems, who often experience illness differently from younger individuals. Some older people are frail, a term that describes the loss of health reserves required to recover from illnesses such as COVID-19. Specialist geriatric medicine care improves outcomes for frail patients in hospital.
In consecutive hospitalised COVID-19 patients, we will see if the symptoms reported by frail patients, their families or carers differ from younger or non-frail patients. We will describe outcomes of frail patients, to report the risk of dying from COVID-19 and if this is greater than expected for their age and other health conditions. Finally, we will look at whether the pandemic has affected access to specialist geriatric medicine care for frail patients with and without COVID-19.