Almost one in four people are living with long-term multiple health conditions, according to new research.
The Richmond Group of Charities says an estimated 14.2 million people in England live with two or more long-term conditions, accounting for 50% of all GP and outpatient appointments and hospital admissions.
They say this means it is important for people to have quick access to high quality coordinated health and care services tailored around individual needs.
The charities say people living in the most deprived areas are likely to experience problems up to 15 years earlier than those in the most affluent.
Women are also more likely to live with multiple conditions in midlife, with one in four aged 45-54 living with two or more health problems compared to one in five men.
Liam O’Toole of Versus Arthritis and chair of the Taskforce on Multiple Conditions said: ‘These powerful stories of loss and adaptation demonstrate what a profound impact living with many long-term conditions has on a person’s life.
'Loss of mobility, chronic pain and reduced social networks all make life harder and affect mental wellbeing.
'But there are opportunities to empower people to take an active role in the management of their conditions and to help people find achievable goals.'