More than 4 million people in England with a long-term physical health condition also have mental health problems, and many of them experience significantly poorer health outcomes and reduced quality of life as a result. In terms of NHS spending, at least £1 in every £8 spent on long-term conditions is linked to poor mental health and well-being – between £8 billion and £13 billion in England each year.
Long-term conditions and mental health: The cost of co-morbidities, published jointly by The King’s Fund and the Centre for Mental Health, suggests that care for a large number of people with long-term conditions could be improved by:
This paper suggests that developing more integrated support for people with mental and physical health problems could improve outcomes and play an important part in helping the NHS meet the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention challenge. The authors conclude that the prevailing approach to supporting people with long-term conditions is at risk of failing unless we recognise the role of emotional and mental health problems in reducing people’s ability and motivation to manage their physical health.