Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Our approach to multiple long-term conditions - Impact on Urban Health
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Our approach to multiple long-term conditions

How our programme works to slow down people’s progression to multiple long-term health conditions

Our programme aims to slow down people’s progression from one to many long-term health conditions. We do this by understanding who is at greatest risk of progression to multiple conditions and what is most effective in slowing down people’s journeys.


Why do we focus on multiple long-term conditions?

We use the term multiple long-term conditions to describe when someone lives with three or more long-term health conditions for which there is currently no cure, but which can be treated – such as asthma, diabetes or depression.

The reasons some people develop multiple health conditions sooner than others are not well understood. High blood pressure, obesity, smoking and drinking are risk factors that play a role, so are genes, biology and the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

While it’s not yet clear which factors contribute more than others, our research and work to date show significant variation in the length of time between people developing one and subsequent conditions. For example, in Lambeth, people living in the areas with the highest levels of deprivation are developing long-term conditions on average 10 years earlier than those living in the most affluent.

Finally, the number of people living with multiple long-term conditions is on the rise. Currently, more than eight million people in England live with three or more long-term health conditions.

The 32 conditions we're focusing on in our programme

Risk factors

How will we achieve our goal of slowing people’s progression to multiple long-term conditions?

To achieve our goal, we are taking a targeted approach to our programme. We are focusing on people who, according to the best evidence available, are at the greatest risk of rapid progression to multiple conditions. We are first targeting people of working age, in areas with high levels of deprivation, and who live with diabetes, chronic pain or risk factors such as smoking or high blood pressure.

We work with people, institutions, businesses and physical spaces that make up the communities and systems in which people live their lives. To achieve impact in our place, we work at different scales. This includes influencing national policy, addressing borough-wide issues, and partnering with others to layer activities at a neighbourhood level.

While our solutions will benefit Lambeth and Southwark, our insights will be relevant to other cities in the UK and internationally.