Talking Care – talking long term conditions

Talking Care is the premier magazine about adult social care, published especially for Oxfordshire. Our latest edition focuses on long term conditions (LTC).

By LTC, we mean disabilities and illnesses, such as, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, enduring mental health issues and many other physical or mental ailments, that cannot, at present, be cured, but people living with these conditions can be supported to maintain a good quality of life. We also include conditions such as autism, which may affect a person’s ability to interact with their everyday world; and seemingly everyday ailments such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.

People living with a LTC are more likely to use health and care services. They are less likely to be in work, or their ability to work is hampered:

  • 72% of the general population are in work, whereas only 59% of people with a LTC are in work.
  • Only 35% of people with a mental health condition are in work.

Of the people who report that they live with a LTC,

  • 24% have two LTC, and
  • 20% live with three or more LTC.

People with LTC account for:

  • 50% of all GP appointments;
  • 64% of all hospital outpatients appointments;
  • 70% of all hospital bed days; and
  • 70% of health and care spend.

Around fifteen million people in England (Long Term Conditions Compendium of Information: Third Edition, DH, 2012) have one or more long-term health conditions, and the number of people with multiple conditions is rising. The majority of people aged over 65 have two or more long-term conditions; the majority of over 75s have three or more. Overall, the number of people with multiple conditions is rising, projected to reach 2.9 million this year. In a survey (Patients in Control: Why  People with Long-Term Conditions must be empowered, IPP, 2012), three-quarters (75%) of respondents agreed, or somewhat agreed that, if they had better information and support, they could become more expert at self-managing more of their care independently at home.

Co-production, as we call it, is about people being empowered to take control and drive their services. In an ever pressurised sector, the stories inside this issue, illustrate how important it is for people to be involved in the management of their own care and support and to be involved in the development of services. They are inspiring advocates for involvement, as well as having amazing personal will-power and drive to live well.

Let’s keep on talking care.

[Browse past issues of Talking Care]