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Long term conditions costs 'set to soar'

The NHS may need to find an extra £4 billion per year to treat people with long-term conditions, MPs have warned.

Long-term conditions are one of the "biggest challenges" facing the NHS, the Health Select Committee has said. 

Caring for people with long-term conditions currently accounts for 70% of NHS England's budget. 

Demand for services currently outstrips funding, and the situation is only likely to get worse, MPs warned. 

Latest figures show that the NHS spends £1,000 per year treating someone with diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, depression or arthritis. 

Someone with two of these health issues costs around  £3,000, and a person with three will need around £8,000 in funding per year. 

Currently around 15 million people are living with a long-term condition, but that is set to rise by an additional three million over the next ten years. 

Dr Sarah Wollaston, recently appointed chair of the Health Select Committee said: “What we're seeing is not only an increase in the numbers of people with long-term conditions but the number of people living with multiple conditions. 

“Looking at the financial impact of that, it is estimated that compared to a baseline in 2010 the NHS is going to have to find £4bn extra a year just to be keeping pace with that demographic change and the impact of multiple long-term conditions."

The former GP added: “We feel that there needs to be a much greater sense of urgency as to how we're going to deal with that, not only in financial terms but the impact on people."