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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has invited views of healthcare professionals and others to tackle the six major health conditions which drive-ill health and contribute to the burden of disease in England.

The six major health conditions – cancer; cardiovascular diseases including stroke and diabetes; chronic respiratory diseases; dementia; mental ill-health and musculoskeletal disorders – affect millions of people in England with data showing that one in four suffer from two or more of these major long-term conditions.

Recognising the pressure these conditions are putting on the NHS, the government is seeking views on a new strategy to tackle them that will focus not only on treatment but also on prevention.

Government is particularly interested in hearing from those who suffer from, care for or provide treatment to people who suffer from multiple long-term conditions. This is to ensure the Major Conditions Strategy is one that will better prevent, diagnose, manage and treat these conditions.

Contributions are also encouraged from those working in NHS bodies, local government, the voluntary and community sector, and wider industry, on how best to tackle suffering from one or more of these major conditions. Particularly, it is seeking perspectives on how government and the NHS can work better together with different organisations and sectors to improve the nation’s health.

The Major Conditions Strategy signals the government’s intention to improve care and outcomes for those living with multiple conditions and an increasing complexity of need – for example, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression, nine in ten dementia patients have another long-term condition, and half of people with a heart or lung condition have musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain. It will seek to reduce care and treatment that are too narrowly focused on specific diseases or organs in the body and consider how to treat people as a whole.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said: “Patients often live with more than one major condition, so it’s vital that we do all we can to understand how best to manage their care.

“I encourage patients, carers and healthcare professionals to contribute to our call for evidence so we can ensure our Major Conditions Strategy is as targeted and patient-focused as possible.”

The strategy will also focus on what can be delivered now as well as over the coming years to improve outcomes as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. It will also build on work already done to tackle waiting lists for planned NHS treatments through the NHS Elective Recovery Plan and unlock the next generation of medicines and diagnostics through the government’s ambitious Life Science Missions.

The call for evidence is open for six weeks and will close on Tuesday 28 June at midnight.

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