Living with Long Term Conditions and Maximising the Quality of Life

JSNA LogoAs the proportion of older people in the population increases, the management of long term conditions will continue to increase. As illness worsens there is often a requirement for more social care support. Treatment of these conditions is costly both to the NHS and to society; however these conditions and their complications are often preventable.

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Marmot recommendations: B - "Enable all children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have control over their lives" ; D - "Ensure a healthy standard of living for all"

According to the Department of Health (2010) people suffering with long term conditions represent 69% of health and care spend, 77% of inpatient bed days, 55% of GP appointments and 68% of outpatient and emergency department appointments. This care transcends organisational boundaries of social care, primary and community care and hospital care. Increasing numbers of people have more than one long term condition yet face an increasingly fragmented specialised response.

As the proportion of older people in the population increases, the management of long term conditions will make a growing contribution to the overall burden of disease. As people become more burdened with disease, there is often a requirement for more social care support. Treatment of these conditions is costly both to the NHS and to society; however they and their complications are often preventable. For some patients living with end stage organ failure, transplantation of a healthy organ provides the only opportunity for a healthier life.

Long term conditions such as diabetes are the major health challenges of our time. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in the UK, with one new case diagnosed every 3 minutes, and yet for the majority of patients, this is entirely preventable or can be delayed.

Within this section we have also included cancers. Cancer can be seen as a long term but curable condition. Indeed nationally there are over 1.6 million people who have survived cancer and we want them to remain cancer free.

Quantifying the number of people living with a disability is inherently difficult. Many NHS and city council figures for people living with disabilities are estimates and conflicts exist between the ways data is collected. The reliability of some data is likely to be variable. Although the JSNA is not an encyclopaedia of needs, it can highlight where more data is required to help with meeting these needs. Over time the ageing profile of the City is likely to increase the number of people living with disabilities, as people tend to pick up disabilities through injury or degenerative conditions as they get older.

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