Quar­ter of peo­ple take up half of health ap­point­ments

Sunderland Echo - - News -

A quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion take up half of all GP ap­point­ments and hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions, a new study has found.

New re­search found that more than a quar­ter of adults in Eng­land have more than one long-term ill­ness such as high blood pres­sure or di­a­betes.

And the ma­jor­ity of GP con­sul­ta­tions, pre­scrip­tions, and hospi­tal ad­mis­sions were as­so­ci­ated with pa­tients with so-called mul­ti­mor­bid­ity, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

Re­searchers said that NHS ser­vices de­signed to treat sin­gle ill­nesses need to be re­designed to cope with the ris­ing tide of peo­ple with mul­ti­ple long-term con­di­tions.

The au­thors of the study, pub­lished in the Bri­tish Jour­nal of Gen­eral Prac­tice, point out that pa­tients with nu­mer­ous long-term con­di­tions “of­ten have com­pli­cated med­i­cal needs, in­clud­ing un­der­stand­ing and man­ag­ing mul­ti­ple ill­nesses and com­plex med­i­ca­tion reg­i­mens”.

Af­ter analysing data on more than 400,000 GP pa­tients in Eng­land, the re­searchers found that 27.2% have more than one longterm con­di­tion.

Just over half (52.9%) of GP con­sul­ta­tions are de­voted to pa­tients with more than one long-term health prob­lem.

The au­thors, from the uni­ver­si­ties of Cam­bridge, Bris­tol and Utah in the US, wrote: “Es­sen­tially, one quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion is ac­count­ing for more than half of health ser­vice util­i­sa­tion.

“As the ma­jor­ity of health­care en­coun­ters are now with pa­tients with mul­ti­mor­bid­ity, all health pro­fes­sion­als must be trained to man­age the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fects of more than one chronic con­di­tion.”

Ap­point­ment data was an­a­lysed.

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