Frailty identification

Timely identification of frailty, and targeting with appropriate evidence-based interventions, can help to reduce the likelihood of progression of frailty and associated poor outcomes.

The following resources can be used by health and social care professionals to improve how people with frailty are identified; whether in a community or hospital setting.

A selection of case studies and videos explain how health and social care teams in Scotland have improved how they identify people living with frailty.


Tools and resources

  • Frailty Screening and Assessment Tool Comparator: A tool which compares the features of different frailty screening and assessment tools at a glance, together with links to further information and research.
  • Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS): A scale introduced in the second clinical examination of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) as a way to summarize the overall level of fitness or frailty of an older adult after they had been evaluated by an experienced clinician (Rockwood et al., 2005).
  • Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) is a tool that can be used to identify people as they progress through different levels of frailty, and is based upon a person’s needs, rather than their service use. You can find more information, tools and resources on the eFI pages.
  • THINK Frailty: A frailty assessment tool designed to support clinical decision making in acute hospitals. This tool aids clinical staff in identifying people living with frailty and supports early access to Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)
  • Palliative Care Identification Tools Comparator: This tool has been designed to help health and social care professionals identify those who would benefit from a palliative approach to their care.
  • Improving care and support for people living with frailty in Scotland (May 2022): This publication from the 90 Day Learning Cycle presents findings which have established seven key components of an integrated frailty system across health social care and the independent and third sector, and sets out next steps for the ihub Frailty Improvement and Implementation Programme. 


Examples and case studies

  • Frailty progression: This story provides snapshots of an individual as they progress through different levels of frailty and highlights the support that can be offered at each stage.
  • Midlothian HSCP Case Study: This case study describes the approach taken by Midlothian HSCP to using data to improve the care of people with frailty.
  • Dalhousie Medical Practice Case Study: This case study describes a project undertaken by a GP to improve the continuity of care for people with frailty.
  • Using the eFI: In this short video Paul Baughan, GP and National Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care, talks about using the electronic frailty index (eFI) to identify people with frailty in a semi-rural GP practice.