Long Term Conditions
Patients with a Long Term Condition (LTC) need regular monitoring. LTCs are Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke Disease, Hypertension (raised Blood Pressure) Epilepsy, Thyroid Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, COPD and Asthma. We try to offer these patients a check up on a yearly basis and for many years patients have come along in their birthday month for an MOT. This system has had to change. We have now been asked to see patients with a LTC for a full MOT within 12 months of their last full MOT.
The MOT itself is now slightly different. Patients will see one of the Health Care Assistants for a full check including blood tests if the condition dictates. The results of blood tests will then be sent to our Practice Nurse if the patient is Diabetic or to Mrs Rosie England one of our Practice Pharmacists. Mrs England will decide after looking at the blood results whether any further action needs to be taken. If everything is stable then these patients will not need a further results appointment. All Diabetic patients will be sent their results by letter and then given an appointment with Practice Nurse, Rosie our Practice Pharmacist or Dr Sutton.
Diabetes – Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is also known as diabetes mellitus. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.
According to the charity Diabetes UK, more than two million people in the UK have the condition and up to 750,000 more are believed to have it without realising they do.
What’s the treatment for diabetes?
It’s recognised that the sooner the blood sugar levels are brought under control, the better the long term prospects of preventing damage. Lifestyle advice about diet, weight management and regular activity is the first step.
Type 1 diabetes will require immediate insulin therapy, Type 2 diabetes will first be managed with a drug called Metformin, if lifestyle changes alone aren’t effective. There are now several other drugs used in type 2 diabetes, although eventually some type 2 diabetics will need insulin therapy as it’s a progressive disease.
NHS Choices – Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of Diabetes
Diabetes UK – Largest charity in the UK devoted to the care and treatment of people with diabetes in order to improve the quality of life for people with the condition
Asthma – Asthma is a common condition that causes coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest and breathlessness. Most people with asthma who take the appropriate treatment can live normal lives, but left untreated, asthma can cause permanent damage to the airways
Symptoms of asthma
The usual symptoms of asthma are
- shortness of breath
- tightness in the chest.
Not everyone will get all of these symptoms. Some people experience them from time to time; a few people may experience these symptoms all the time.
NHS Choices – Further information about symptoms, treatment, causes and prevention of Asthma.
Asthma – An excellent resource with useful video, audio, images and references relating to asthma.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. The main symptom of COPD is an inability to breathe in and out properly. This is also referred to as airflow obstruction.
NHS Choices – Guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and risks of COPD from the NHS
COPD Factsheet – This factsheet is for people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or who would like information about it.
Stroke – A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.
Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
The NHS Stroke Act FAST pages offer a great deal of information about stroke, including how to recognise the signs, some real stories of stroke sufferers and advice on how to live your life after a stroke.
Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or ‘mini-stroke’, is caused by a temporary fall in the blood supply to part of the brain, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can cause symptoms that are similar to a stroke, although they don’t last as long. A TIA lasts only a few minutes and is usually resolved within 24 hours.
As TIAs are serious, it is important that they are always investigated so that appropriate treatment can be given quickly. With treatment, the risk of a further TIA or a full stroke can be greatly reduced.
Mental Health – Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. One in four people in the UK have a mental health problem at some point in their lives, which affects their daily life, relationships or physical health.
Mental health disorders take many different forms and affect people in different ways. Schizophrenia, depression and personality disorders are all examples of mental health problems. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia generally develop in old age, whereas eating disorders are more common in young people.
Mental HealthTalkOnline – Healthtalkonline, an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people’s experiences of health and illness.