Apr 16, 2018
The Taskforce will lead a collaborative programme of activity to bring together experts from health, social care and inequalities with people living with multiple long-term conditions to learn more about the causes of, and potential solutions to, this complex issue.
Multiple long-term conditions or multimorbidity, as it’s also known, is commonly defined as the presence of two or more chronic health conditions in one person. Living with multiple long-term conditions presents significant challenges both for individuals and for our health and care systems. For the individual, it can be difficult to manage several conditions, multiple medications and coordinating advice from different health professionals. When it comes to services, the issue is poorly understood and can involve high costs.
The Taskforce will focus on three priority areas: better coordination – which is critical to improving the health and care offered to people with multiple long-term conditions – deprivation – as people in poorer areas develop long-term conditions at least 10-15 years earlier than people in more affluent ones – and prevention, to stop the rapid progression from one condition to more.
It is bringing together key people from national and local statutory and voluntary sectors, including Alzheimer’s Society, National Voices, the Institute of Health Equity, NHS Digital and The King’s Fund – together with experts with lived experience of multiple long-term conditions.
Dr Liam O’Toole, CEO at Arthritis Research UK and Chair of The Richmond Group of Charities multiple conditions work programme said: “The leading health and care charities that work together as The Richmond Group already know much about the needs of the 15 million people in England living with a long-term health problem. However, we also believe that we need to better understand how best to support the growing number of people who live with two or more such conditions. We are confident that, working together with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the RCGP, we can enhance our collective insight and improve our practice.”
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of Council at the Royal College of General Practitioners said: “Every GP is acutely aware that many people who come to see us don't just have one health problem, but that their lives can be complicated by a range of health issues, as well as various social and psychological factors, making each person’s needs unique. The RCGP is excited to be working with leading charities on how we can collectively better support these users of primary care.”
The issue of multiple long-term conditions is one of the biggest emerging health challenges in the UK. Through our programme, we’ve been connecting with partners locally, nationally and internationally to better understand the issue and to start doing something about it, to make a genuine improvement to the lives of people living with these conditions.
Jon Siddall, our Director of Funding said: “Learning from others, sharing what we’re finding and supporting collective action towards achieving this goal is fundamental to our approach. That’s why I’m really pleased to see the start of our new Taskforce and our work together to improve care and support for people with more than one long-term condition.”