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Patients with long term conditions “lack information” to make health decisions

Patients with long term conditions “lack information” to make health decisions

Less than 50% of people managing long-term conditions feel they are well informed enough to make decision on their healthcare.

Posted: 1 April 2015

With the first wave of the integrated personal commissioning programme going live today (1 April 2015), up to 10,000 people will have a greater say in how their health and social care budget is spent.

More than a third of people with long-term conditions say they were not given helpful information about their condition when diagnosed according to research by the Patient Information Forum.

A fifth of patients polled said they do not have enough information to feel confident when discussing their treatment with their GP and just under a third felt their doctor did not take their views seriously.

It is claimed more than 15m people in England are managing a long term condition and long term conditions account for 70% of the NHS budget.

Integration of information within the care pathway, a national plan for information and the provision of local information through “robust local leadership” are recommendations to the government, NHS England and the Royal Colleges by the Patient Information Forum.

Chair of the forum, Sue Farrington, said the findings should be a “wake up call” to NHS providers to ensure patients are getting access to the right information from day one.

“Not only does this make sense from a personal perspective, but there is also an economic case for improved patient empowerment, which should capture the attention of the NHS.”

Director at MHP Communications, Kate Pogson, said: “The ability of patients to secure better outcomes for themselves is an under-utilised resource. We need to maximise this resource but also ensure increasing individual control does not increase unjustified variation.”

For the survey, 6,000 people - of which more than 1,500 were patients with long term conditions - were polled.