Chronic conditions care 'fails' in Wales

The NHS in Wales is not providing services that fully support the effective management of adults with a chronic condition, according to a report by the Auditor General for Wales.

The report sets out areas of weakness in how community services were run.

It points out that the primary purpose of such services was to prevent admissions to hospital or to facilitate early discharge. But two-thirds of these services were available on weekdays only, even though more than half of the admissions to hospital were outside these hours.

A third of the adult population in Wales report having at least one chronic condition, such as diabetes, bronchitis or heart disease – the highest rate in the UK.

The report highlights the pressure faced by acute hospitals, with chronic conditions accounting for at least one in six of all emergency medical admissions.

The number of emergency medical admissions for chronic conditions has increased in some trusts, suggesting limited alternatives to admission to hospital.

Jeremy Colman, Auditor General for Wales, said: ‘Chronic conditions are placing a huge demand on the NHS in Wales, in particular the hospital sector, which is not sustainable in the longer term.’

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