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Long term conditions (LTCs) are a significant part of the NHS workload. Optimal diagnosis and management of LTCs may reduce the burden on acute services by preventing unplanned hospital admissions and improve patient outcomes. We plan to examine the role of in-vitro devices (IVDs) in the diagnosis and management of LTCs in community settings with a particularly focus on multimorbidity and mental health.

Multimorbidity is defined when a patient has two or more conditions. For example, 1-2% of adults have chronic heart failure, and over half of these people have three or more other conditions but guidelines and clinical care are traditionally single disease focused. Patients with severe mental illness have poor health outcomes. Physical health needs can often be neglected due to the focus on treating psychiatric symptoms. Guidelines on psychosis and schizophrenia make particular recommendations on the importance of physical health checks.

We plan to model the use of existing technologies to improve efficiency of current clinical pathways to establish the feasibility of using POC devices for the management of LTCs and the optimal location and expertise required to run physical health check clinics for patients with severe mental illness. We will also engage with disruptive technologies to find new ways of diagnosing and managing LTCs in the community.

Theme lead:

Research news:

Three out of four people with heart failure could be diagnosed sooner, potentially improving quality of life and reducing costs to the healthcare system.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have today reported that only 1 in 4 people diagnosed with heart failure received a simple, recommended blood test that could have resulted in an earlier diagnosis at a more treatable stage.

BLOG: Natriuretic peptide testing and heart failure survival

NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer and GP Dr Clare Taylor gives a breakdown of the findings and their importance of a recent publication on heart failure and natriuretic peptide testing by herself and colleagues.