Mental health and long-term conditions: the cost of co-morbidity

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The findings of this project were published in February 2012: Long-term conditions and mental health: the cost of co-morbidities

What did we do as part of this piece of work?

The King’s Fund worked with partners in the Centre for Mental Health and London School of Economics to review the research evidence on the extent of these co-morbidities, their impact on the quality and cost of care, and ways in which people with both a long-term condition and a mental health problem could be better supported.

The findings from this review were published in February 2012.

A major conference on the subject was also held at The King’s Fund in September 2011: The role of mental health services in improving care for long-term conditions.

Why are we doing work in this area?

There is a strong association between mental and physical ill health. People with long-term conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, have significantly raised rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Evidence suggests that many of these people receive poorer quality care than those with a single condition.

The cost to the health system and to wider society of mental health problems among people with physical illnesses is considerable. By developing a more integrated response to patients’ multiple needs, there is scope to reduce these costs while improving quality of care. Our report, Transforming our health care system, recommended that this should be a priority for new clinical commissioners.

Who is the main contact for this work?