Long-term drugs need monitoring

Caring for patients with long-term conditions can be challenging, as they are often on long-term medications and have complex needs. Diane Baylis advises on how to manage these challenges and ensure patient safety.

There are 15.4m patients living with a long-term condition (LTC), in England. The conditions are defined as one ‘that cannot, at present, be cured but can be controlled by medication and other therapies’.

The number of people with LTCs is set to rise due to an aging population and unhealthy lifestyles. 

With healthcare litigation increasing across all providers, and patients rightly expecting safe care, it is paramount that private doctors are aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them – especially those related to managing the medication of those with LTCs.

Clinical negligence claims linked to long-term conditions

A review of Medical Protection’s high-value (£1m+) clinical negligence claims revealed that a poor standard of chronic disease management is a frequent factor. 

Deficiencies in chronic disease management made up 11% of these high-value claims, identifying that, over time, suboptimal management of LTCs can cause more insidious development of complications.