Over 14 million people in England have two or more long-term conditions and the NHS is ill-equipped to meet their needs, according to a study.

Researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Utah examined the GP records of more than 400,000 people and found that 27.2% of patients fell into the two-or-more-conditions category between 2012 and 2016.

That proportion of people accounted for 53% of GP appointments, 56% of hospital admissions and 79% of prescriptions. The study found that standard 10-minute GP consultations were failing to sufficiently deal with multiple conditions of patients.

The most common long-term condition was high blood pressure followed by depression and anxiety and chronic pain.

The research provided a timely reminder that community pharmacy is ideally placed to help people manage long-term conditions and alleviate the strain on the rest of the health system.

This year the PSNC said it would press for a service-based pharmacy contract that will cultivate community pharmacy’s role in providing care for people with long-term conditions.

The study was published in the British Journal of General Practice.