Supporting patients to manage their long-term condition(s)

15.4 million people in England (over a quarter of the population) have a long-term condition, and this group uses a significant proportion of healthcare services. The NHS aims to support people with long-term conditions to be as independent and as healthy as possible, preventing complications and the need to go into hospital.

Do people feel supported to manage their long-term condition(s)?

When asked in the GP patient survey 'In the last 6 months, have you had enough support from local services or organisations (not just health services) to help you to manage your long-term health condition(s)?' the total proportion of patients responding either 'yes, definitely' or 'yes, to some extent' has always been above 50%. There was an increase in those reporting positively from 2010/11 to 2011/12, where the total responding 'yes' increased by 10.4 percentage points in a year. Since then, these trends have been quite stable, but did decrease one percentage point to 64% in 2014/15. In 2015/16, 38.5% felt that 'yes, definitely' they had enough support and 24.6% felt that 'yes, to some extent' they had enough support. It is worth noting that there were still more than 1 in 10 patients (12.4% in 2015/16) stating that they didn't feel they had enough support to manage their long-term condition(s) in the last 6 months.

If we exclude respondents who haven't needed support, 81% of respondents reported that they had received support to manage their long-term condition at least to some extent. 16% felt they did not receive enough support. (Data not shown)

Updated September 2016

Does feeling supported to manage their long-term condition(s) differ by age?

The proportion of patients feeling that they are supported to manage their long-term condition(s) is a measure in the NHS Outcomes Framework (2015/16) which analyses GP patient survey data to investigate whether different cohorts of patients feel supported to manage their long-term condition(s) as part of this programme.

There is variation between different age groups in how patients feel they are supported. Fewer patients in the younger age groups felt supported to manage their long-term condition(s) in both 2014/15 and 2015/16. This is lowest in the 18-24 and the 25-34 age groups, where only 55.2% felt supported in 2015/16. The 65-74 and 75-84 year old age groups felt the most supported to manage their long-term condition(s) at roughly 76%. A slightly larger proportion of men (64.9%) reported feeling supported than women (63.7%) in 2015/16 (Data not shown).

Updated September 2016

Does feeling supported to manage their long-term condition(s) differ by deprivation?

Information published under the NHS Outcomes Framework also indicates a link between how people feel about being supported and levels of deprivation. In 2015/16, a smaller proportion of people (60.8%) from the most deprived areas reported that the felt supported to manage their long-term condition than people in the least deprived areas (68.2%) There is a strong correlation between feeling positive about the support received and patient deprivation.

Updated September 2016

About this data

The figures below show how many people felt supported to manage their long-term conditions when responding to the GP Patient Survey. There is probably selection bias here, given that the people answering the survey are already receiving some form of care and possibly overestimates the number of people who feel supported in the general population. For more information, including technical methodology, please see the GP patient survey website. The majority of data points represent the data reported for financial years except for those covering July 2013 to March 2014, which represent responses to questionnaires sent in two waves, from July to September 2013 and January to March 2014. To reflect that they do not represent a full financial year, possibly overlap slightly with 2012/13 data and therefore are not fully comparable to the other data points in the series, these data points are shaded a different colour.

The number of respondents to the GP patient survey has decreased year on year from 2,169,718 patients in 2009/10 to 903,357 for July 2013 to March 2014, which relates to participation rates of 39% in 2009/10 and 34% between July 2013 and March 2014.

For more information, including technical methodology please see the GP patient survey website

The 2015/16 breakdown by deprivation is calculated using the 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) scores. Previous years' deprivation data are not comparable since they were calculated using the 2010 IMD scores, and therefore these data are not shown.

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