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Management of Long Term Conditions Must Improve

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The way in which long term medical conditions are managed must be reformed according to Sir John Oldham, Department of Health’s Clinical lead on Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP).

He predicts that by 2050 the number of people suffering with multiple long term conditions will triple, putting huge strain on NHS resources.

He explains that the best way forward will be to integrate care given to patients at a local level stating that we currently have, “we have a Monty Pythonesque queue of people outside a person’s house, it segments a person into body parts.”

Oldham also suggests that improving information for patients could help save lives, “conveying knowledge to patients, who are the most undervalued resource in our system, is key to managing long-term conditions.” Allowing patients access to their GP records has shown to reduce mortality rates from long term conditions.

For example, one NHS trust allows patients to send in blood pressure readings using a pay as you go mobile phone. Oldham suggests that telehealth could play a significant role in aiding patients with long term conditions and noted that it could save money by reducing the number of home visits made by staff.

Oldham concluded that without reform, healthcare systems around the world will run out of money with the spiralling number of people suffering multiple long term illnesses.

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