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.”
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards has published his findings on the standards of treatment and care at BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital in Guildford.
The hospital is one of the first independent hospitals to be inspected under CQC’s new methodology which looks at whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well led.
CQC identified five areas for improvement: (i) the provider must ensure that CQC is notified of any serious incidents which have occurred; (ii) the provider must consider feedback mechanisms following the reporting of incidents, and should review the arrangements for monitoring the implementation changes and other actions; (iii) the provider must amend its Statement of Purpose to ensure it reflects the service provided and the range of patients’ needs the service can meet; (iv) the provider must consider the formal arrangements required to support patients living with dementia or learning difficulties; and . This must include appropriate training and monitoring processes for the assessment of people who lack capacity to consent; and (v) the provider must ensure that the records relating to the safe use of lasers in theatre are updated and provide assurance that the consultants are trained.
“People deserve to receive treatment and care which is safe, effective, caring, responsive to their needs, and well led”, said CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards.
“Since our last inspection in 2013, there has been significant and consistent improvement, however there is still room for more. Some improvements are still needed such as making their governance processes more robust and systematic in incident reporting and compliance with practicing privileges.
“We will return in due course to check that those improvements have been made.”