Why we are tackling long term conditions
Long-term conditions are defined as conditions that cannot currently be cured but can be managed through treatment and care, for example diabetes, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), macular degeneration, and mental health conditions.
The prevalence of long-term conditions is increasing in the UK, partly due to an ageing population, but also due to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. It is estimated that approximately 15 million people in England have at least one long-term condition,** and this is projected to rise to 18 million by 2025.***
The NHS face significant challenges in the management of long-term conditions. These include increasing demand for services, limited resources, and difficulties in providing integrated care across different services and settings.
There is also a need for greater patient education and self-management support, to enable people with long-term conditions to better manage their own health and reduce the burden on healthcare services.
* Barnett, K et al. 2012. Epidemiology of multimorbidity and implications for health care, research, and medical education: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet (Volume 380, No. 9836).
** Department of Health (2012). Report. Long-term conditions compendium of Information: 3rd edition
*** The state of health care and adult social care in England 2018/19, Care Quality Commission (CQC)