NICE is considering inserting advice on common comorbidities into guidelines in order to help GPs manage patients with multiple conditions more effectively.
Speaking at the institute's annual conference in Birmingham this week, NICE chair Professor Mike Rawlings also revealed NICE was considering producing a separate guideline on managing comorbidities in order to ‘empower' GPs.
The move comes after a study, published by The Lancet last week, found a quarter of patients had comorbidities in primary care, with much higher rates in deprived areas.
Professor Rawlings told delegates GPs often had no guidance about the relative worth of interventions for different conditions.
He said: ‘We need to start developing methods in order to include multiple conditions in guidelines. It won't be easy, but we have to do it.
‘We are thinking seriously about producing a guideline on dealing with comorbidities.
‘Also when we produce a guideline we should look at the three most common comorbidities and how to deal with them.'