The NHS is spending £75bn a year treating people with long term conditions (LTCs) but too many people are still not receiving the care they need warns a new report by The Richmond Group, a coalition of 10 leading health and social care charities.
The report, ‘Vital Signs: Taking the temperature of health and social care for services for people living with long term conditions’, states that the standard of care for the 15 million people in England who live with at least one LTC is inconsistent and that not enough people are getting the care and support they need to live well.
“Too often, we are failing to provide the right level of care and support needed by people with long term conditions and as a direct result of inadequate care their health is being put at greater risk with devastating consequences”, said Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK.
“For example, we are seeing people with diabetes lose limbs when an amputation could have been prevented, and people with asthma are dying unnecessarily. And it’s not just a case of immense, unnecessary human cost; with the NHS spending £7 in every £10 on managing long term conditions and their complications, sub-standard care is also putting huge strain on the NHS budget.”
Tom Wright, chief executive of Age UK and Chair of The Richmond Group, said: “We have known for some time what needs to happen to support people with long term conditions to survive and thrive, so the challenge is putting that knowledge into practice for everyone, right across the NHS and within social care. With long-term conditions affecting a massive one in six of us today, now is the time for action.”