NHS 'to pay extra £4bn a year' for long-term conditions

The NHS faces a major financial challenge as it deals with the rising number of people suffering from long-term conditions ranging from depression to diabetes, a health committee has warned.

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Number with long term conditions to rise by 3 million

The number of people living with incurable long-term conditions is set to rise by three million people in just over a decade, experts have warned.

Former GP turned MP Sarah Wollaston said said the NHS must find another £4 billion each year "just to be keeping pace" with the expected rise to a total of 18 million people with such health issues by 2025.

"We feel that there needs to be a much greater sense of urgency as to how we're going to deal with that, not only in financial terms but the impact on people," said the MP, who chairs the influential Health Select Committee.

Long-term conditions are 'biggest challenge' to NHS

Experts say it costs £1,000 to treat a person with a complex condition for a year Credit: PA

Health bosses at the NHS could be forced to find an extra £4 billion pounds each year to meet the costs of treating people with long term-health conditions, the Health Select Committee group of MPs has warned.

The group said that complex health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, dementia and arthritis are one of the "biggest challenges" facing the health service.

Caring for such patients already takes 70% of the health service's budget in England, and the situation is only set to worsen as an ageing population and lifestyle-linked diseases both add to the cost, it said.


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