One in four people in England, including people living with diabetes, are living with two or more long-term conditions, finds the Taskforce of Multiple Conditions' new report, You Only Had to Ask.
Life with more than one long-term condition
People living with diabetes may be living with multiple long-term conditions. The 'You Only Had to Ask' report, asks and explores the question, how does where you live affect a patient's ability to manage their condition, let alone multiple conditions. Worryingly, the data shows that multiple long-term conditions are more common among populations living in deprived areas.
The reported noted that language and literacy can be a real barrier to engagement with the NHS or private health services. Some people living with multiple conditions do not always have a clear understanding about how to manage their conditions and struggle even with support from an interpreter.
Ideas for healthcare professionals
The report concludes with recommendations for healthcare professionals, encouraging them to explore the human factors that might make it more difficult to manage multiple health conditions. It also highlights the importance of signposting to other relevant and specialist services.
In the report, patients share real-life challenges of living in deprived areas in the UK through various case studies. The report explores the reality of patient interactions with healthcare professionals, detailing how advice from a visit to the doctor can be confusing for patients.
Kumar, a patient from Stockwell living with type 1 diabetes and ulcerative colitis, quoted in the report, said:
“I went to see the dietician once, but I just felt so lost, so I stopped going. If the doctor explained to me back then that if I keep missing these appointments then it will have a bad effect on my health in the long run, I wouldn’t have missed them.”