The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidance to improve care for people with two or more long-term health conditions.
The draft guideline aims to reduce treatment burden and minimise unwanted side effects from taking multiple medicines. It recommends that clinicians stop treatment if it has a limited benefit, identify medicines with a higher risk of unwanted side effects, and arrange appointments for the best outcome for the patient.
‘General practice and other generalist services, like care of the elderly, have a crucial role in co-ordinating care through a person-centred rather than disease focused perspective. The new draft guideline emphasises the importance of this perspective,’ said Professor Bruce Guthrie, professor of primary care medicine at the University of Dundee and chair of the group that developed the draft guideline.
It also outlines where it is appropriate to offer an individual management plan.
Factors that should be considered in the plan are the the number of prescribed medicines a person is taking; how often they need emergency care; and how difficult it is to manage their treatments on a day-to-day basis.
Additionally those with multiple conditions are also more likely to have a long-term mental health condition.
The number of people with three or more long-term health conditions is predicted to rise from 1.9 million in 2008 to 2.9 million in 2018. The average health and social care cost for those with three or more health conditions is estimated to be approximately £7700 per person per year.
The consultation is open until 12 May 2016 with an expected final publication in September 2016. The consultation can be found on the NICE website.