April 24, 2012
Integrated care vital for people with heart disease and
A new report has recommended improving the NHS so it gives
equal weight to physical and psychological symptoms for patients
with long term conditions.
A joint report from the Depression Alliance,
British Heart Foundation and other charities, looks at the way
people with long terms health conditions and
depression are treated.
as Likely report shows treating someone’s physical symptoms and
mental wellbeing through joined up and high quality
care could save the NHS money. Up to 17 million people
have long term conditions, including heart
disease, diabetes and cancer, and heart patients are two to
three times more likely to experience depression too.
Having a long term condition and depression
can mean poorer care, poorer outcomes and substantial cost
to the NHS - up to £13 billion in England.
We can improve many heart patients’ quality of life by making sure the care they receive treats both their physical and psychological symptoms
Mike Knapton, our
Associate Medical Director, said: “Depression is up to
three times more common
among heart patients and
around a quarter of heart failure
patients suffer from the condition.
“We need to look closely at how we care for
people with depression and long term conditions because these
patients tend to have a poorer quality of life and
are at even greater risk of dying. The first, important, step is
identifying patients with depression and the next is making sure
they are cared for properly.
“It’s not yet fully understood why people with
heart and circulatory disease are more
likely to get depressed but that shouldn’t stop the NHS
providing a range of services and support for
“We can improve many heart patients’ quality
of life, and save the health service money, by making sure the care
they receive treats both their physical and psychological symptoms
in equal measure. It means providing integrated care in
hospital but also making sure psychological support is a
routine part of good quality cardiac