Published: 06/01/2005, Volume II5, No. 5937 Page 7

Health secretary John Reid was due yesterday to launch a 'bespoke NHS and social care model' for people with long-term conditions.

The document, trailed by HSJ last month (news, 2 December, pages 16-17) splits patients with long-term conditions into three categories, based on US company Kaiser Permanente's pyramid model.

Under this, level-1 patients, who make up 70 to 80 per cent of the long-term conditions population, are judged to require self-care, support and management. Level-2 patients are seen as 'high risk' and need disease-specific care management, while level-3 patients are described as 'high complexity' and in need of case management.

The document urges organisations to prioritise level-3 patients, who should be given a dedicated community matron or other professional to 'anticipate, co-ordinate and join up health and social care'.

It promises further elements of the model to be issued as supplements later this year, including the national service framework for long term conditions.