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.
The Twice 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 them.
“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 rehabilitation.”
British Heart Foundation is a registered Charity No. 225971. Registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 699547.
Registered office at Greater London House, 180 Hampstead Road, London NW1 7AW. Registered as a Charity in Scotland No. SC039426