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Better support for LTCs could reduce A&E pressures

More evidence of the benefits of helping people effectively manage their long term health conditions has emerged in a briefing by the Health Foundation.

Patients who were most able to manage their health conditions had 38% fewer emergency hospital admissions than the patients who were least able to. They also had 32% fewer attendances at A&E, were 32% less likely to attend A&E with a minor condition that could be better treated elsewhere, and had 18% fewer GP appointments.

Over the past 12 years, the number of emergency hospital admissions in England has increased by 42%, from 4.25 million in 2006/07 to 6.02 million in 2017/18. Over 60% of patients admitted to hospital as an emergency have one or more long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or mental illness.

The Health Foundation found that while 13% of patients reported the highest level of ability in managing their health conditions, almost a quarter reported the lowest level and may feel overwhelmed by their conditions.

Patients most able to manage a mental health condition, as well as any physical health conditions, experienced 49% fewer emergency admissions than those who were least able.

These findings show the NHS could reduce avoidable use of health services by supporting patients to manage their health conditions better, the Health Foundation observes.


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