Helping those with Long Term Health Conditions - where are we now?
Wow! It’s been over a year since we started our work in helping people who are experiencing low mood and/or anxiety whilst living with certain physical long term health conditions (LTC) such as Diabetes, Respiratory and Muscular-Skeletal problems. It is safe to say over this time, we have achieved a lot - not only in adapting our service and the support we offer to LTC patients but also we have made great steps to link with other healthcare services in Telford such as our local community Diabetes, Respiratory and Muscular-Skeletal services. In our ongoing dedication to integrate with such services, we are always striving to put our patients in the centre of what we do, by creating a team around each patient which works together to provide a smooth journey to recovery.
We have already had some very encouraging feedback from helping people in this way, with many patients seeing a noticeable difference in the way they manage their physical health because they have been introduced to techniques based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). These techniques have allowed them to address their low mood and anxiety, and also approach their LTC differently either by changing what they do or how they think.
By no means, do we claim to be medical experts about physical health, emotional wellbeing is our focus, but our knowledge of the ways in which long term conditions can affect us not only physically but in all areas of our life seems to be helpful to support others. We have made great links to signpost patients to support such as the local Diabetes educational courses XPERT and STILE and Pulmonary rehabilitation courses for respiratory patients. We also hope to expand these links to also work closer with local Healthy lifestyles advisers in the future who can offer support around managing weight, diet, exercise and general wellbeing.
Long term health conditions continue to be an important focus of wider NHS services over years to come. This is not surprising considering that approximately 15 million in the UK have a long term condition which is defined as having no cure, and is managed by medication or other treatment. According to the Department of Health this number may well be on the rise, and the number of people experiencing multiple long term health conditions at one time is becoming more widespread also. Considering this, we hope to continue to embed this new part of our service into our future plans and we excited to see where this takes us.
If you have recently accessed our service and received support for your mood/anxiety and long term health condition, we would love to hear from you! Please share your feedback by visiting our feedback section and letting us know about your experience!
If you are currently experiencing a long term condition which affects your emotional wellbeing such as Type 1 or 2 diabetes, COPD or other respiratory condition, or a muscular-skeletal condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, please visit our LTC section for further information or use our contact page to get in touch.