NICE issues guidance to tackle multimorbidity

Wise, J. BMJ 2016;353:i1864

GPs should offer a tailored approach for people with multiple long term conditions to reduce the number of prescribed medicines and minimise side effects, new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said.

The number of people in England with three or more long term health conditions is predicted to rise from 1.9 million in 2008 to 2.9 million in 2018. Care for people with multiple conditions is often complicated because the conditions themselves, and their treatments, interact in complex ways, and care can be fragmented across many different services.

The guideline, Multimorbidity: Clinical Assessment and Management, says that doctors should put patients at the centre of decisions about their care and should take into account the patients’ preferences. GPs should stop treatment if it is of limited benefit. For example, some preventive medicines may not benefit patients who are nearing the end of their life; rather, the medicine may only add to the treatment burden.

Read the full commentary here

Read the full guidelines here

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