Service innovations for people with multiple long-term conditions: reflections of a rapid evaluation team

Sussex J, Smith J, Wu FM
Record ID 32018012854
Authors' objectives: People living with multiple long-term conditions represent a significant concern for National Health Service policy and practice, and their care is a major theme in the 2019 National Health Service Long Term Plan. The Birmingham RAND and Cambridge Rapid Evaluation Centre team has undertaken a thematic synthesis of the 10 evaluations it has conducted from 2018 to 2023, exploring the needs, priorities and implications for people with multiple long-term conditions. The aims for this overarching study were to: (1) build a body of learning about service innovations in primary and community settings for people of all ages with multiple long-term conditions, focused on questions that matter most to people with multimorbidity; and (2) develop methodological insights about how rapid evaluation can be used to inform the scoping, testing and implementation of service innovations for people with multiple long-term conditions.
Authors' results and conclusions: While living with multiple long-term conditions is common and is the norm for people over the age of 50 using health and care services, it is not often a focus of health service provision or innovation, nor of research and evaluation activity. We discuss six themes emerging from the totality of the study: (1) our health system is mainly organised around single conditions and not multiple long-term conditions; (2) research calls and studies usually focus on single conditions and associated services; (3) building opportunities for engaged, informed individuals and carers and improved self-management; (4) the importance of measures that matter for patients and carers; (5) barriers to developing and implementing service innovations for people with multiple long-term conditions; and (6) what is needed to make patients with multiple long-term conditions a priority in healthcare planning and delivery. Through a thematic analysis of the portfolio of evaluations, we have deduced a set of suggested implications for how the needs of people with multiple long-term conditions can be better embedded in policy, research and practice.
Authors' methods: The focus on multiple long-term conditions came from a Birmingham RAND and Cambridge Rapid Evaluation Centre prioritisation process undertaken in 2018 using James Lind Alliance methods. Cross-analysis of the findings from the 10 individual rapid evaluations was supplemented by (1) building aspects of multimorbidity into the design of later evaluations; (2) interviewing national and regional stakeholders (n=19) working in or alongside integrated care systems; (3) undertaking a rapid review of evidence on remote monitoring for people with multiple long-term conditions (19 papers included); and (4) testing overall insights with organisations representing patients and carers through a patient, public and professional engagement workshop with 10 participants plus members of the research team. Care of people with multiple long-term conditions was not the principal focus of several of the rapid evaluations. While this was a finding in itself, it limited our learning about designing and implementing, as well as methodological approaches to evaluating, service innovations for people with multiple long-term conditions.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2024
URL for additional information: English
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Multimorbidity
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Aged
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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