Long term conditions are those conditions that cannot, at present, be cured but can be controlled by medication and other therapies. Examples of long term conditions in Warwickshire include high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People live with these conditions for many years, often decades and they can impact on their quality of life by causing disability and early death.
What are the big issues?
Around 1 in 3 people live with at least one long term condition in Warwickshire – an estimated 147,000 people aged 16 or over. The Director of Public Health report 2012 focuses on this important issue.
- With a growing and ageing population, Warwickshire is predicted to see a significant increase in numbers of long-term conditions. The DPH 2019/10 Annual Report showed almost an estimated 90% increase in 20 years in older people with dementia. In addition, conditions such as diabetes and depression will see more than a 50% increase. This will place an increased burden on future health and social care resources.
- People with long term conditions are more likely to see their GP, be admitted to hospital, stay in hospital longer, and need more help to look after themselves than people without long term conditions. They are also increasingly involved in managing their own conditions with the support of a health care team.
- High quality management of long term conditions helps to keep people healthier and independent for longer.
- People with long term conditions need to be helped to understand their condition to manage it as well as possible. However, in Warwickshire there are very few services that can help people learn about their condition or have the right rehabilitation to improve the management of conditions.
- Warwickshire GPs usually work with people to manage their long term conditions and for the most part this care is very good but there are some people who are not getting the treatments that they need, for example:
- 20% of people with high blood pressure do not achieve the recommended level of control.
- 11% of people with diabetes have dangerously poor levels of blood sugar control.
- 10% of people with heart failure are not taking the recommended treatment.
- 6% of people who have coronary heart disease are not taking blood thinning medication that has been proven to reduce the chance of a heart attack and death.
- Hypertension is the most common long-term condition in Warwickshire, in terms of both estimated and actual prevalence.
- The highest average number of hospital admissions and average deaths per year are for various types of cancer.
What do we need to do?
- Screening programmes such as the NHS Health Checks need to be continuosly implemented in order to reduce the prevelance of disease by tackling the underlying risk factors.
- Increase the number of services that help people with long term conditions to understand their condition and how they can manage it effectively with the help of a healthcare team.
Who needs to know?
- Clinical Commissioning Groups
- GPs and other health professionals
- Hospital Trusts
- Primary Care and NHS Commissioners
- Social Care Commissioners