(NG56) Clinical assessment and management of multimorbidity
The care of patients with multiple conditions requires additional considerations. Single disease guidelines can become contradictory with multimorbidity so NICE (NG56) recommends a tailored approach for individual patients. Medication can be a particular challenge, for example:
- 30% of patients with a long-term physical illness also have mental illness
- 20% of patients with two conditions are prescribed four to nine drugs (polypharmacy)
- 66% of elderly patients (over 70 years) take five or more drugs, with one-third of this group taking nine or more drugs per day
Sometimes polypharmacy is appropriate, but taking more medication will increase the risk of adverse drug interactions. Input from a clinical pharmacist is recommended, and this can be obtained from your Ashtons visiting pharmacist or from the medical information pharmacist at 0345 222 3550.