How should health policy respond to the growing challenge of multimorbidity?

Experts call for health system change to tackle the challenge of multimorbidity in the NHS. The report discusses the need for patient-centred care, with more emphasis on generalist rather than specialist care and better integration between general practice, hospitals and social care| University of Bristol

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People with multimorbidity – one or more long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia – are more likely to experience poor quality of life and poor physical and mental health. They use both general practice and hospital services far more often than the general population. However, healthcare systems around the world are largely designed to manage individual diseases or episodes of illness rather than patients with complex multiple health care needs.

 

This policy report makes a series of policy recommendations including:

  • Promoting patient-centred approaches to the management of multimorbidity in primary care, which requires training, support and changes in incentives.
  • Developing and evaluating new approaches to managing patients with multimorbidity within hospitals.
  • Exploring new models of integration of primary and community care, hospital care and social care which enable better co-ordination and support for people with multimorbidity, which is likely to require substantial changes in commissioning and funding mechanisms, and a rebalancing of resources.
  • Changes to professional education, training and regulation to prepare professionals to manage patients with multimorbidity in new and more integrated systems.
  • Engaging and enabling people to manage their own health and long-term conditions, requiring co-ordinated action across many aspects of government and public life.
  • More research to understand and improve care for multimorbidity.

Full report: How should health policy respond to the growing challenge of multimorbidity? | University of Bristol

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