Newsletter 201 - Chrodis Plus

Health-EU Newsletter 201 - Focus

Putting best practices into practice – CHRODIS PLUS to build on EU progress on non-communicable diseases

Dr Antonio Sarria-Santamera, Coordinator of the new Joint Action CHRODIS PLUS, discusses this initiative that is co-funded under the Health Programme and brings together 45 associated partners from 21 countries to help reduce the burden of chronic diseases. Dr Sarría-Santamera is a Professor of Health Services Management at the Spanish National School of Public Health (ENS-ISCIII) and Group Leader of the Spanish Network of Health Services Research on Chronic Diseases.

CHRODIS PLUS builds on the work of CHRODIS, the first pan-EU joint action on chronic diseases and healthy ageing. What did CHRODIS accomplish?

CHRODIS identified good practices for promoting health and preventing chronic diseases; produced guidelines on innovative and effective care for patients with multiple conditions (multi-morbidity, or having multiple conditions, is common with chronic diseases –someone with a heart condition, for example, might also have high blood pressure). CHRODIS also conducted a case study on diabetes to test European cooperation in the field of chronic disease, and, importantly, created a Platform where decision-makers, caregivers, patients and researchers across the EU can find and share expertise on chronic diseases.

What will CHRODIS-PLUS add to this work?

CHRODIS-PLUS will add new practices to the Platform, with its main goal being to help Member States identify innovative policies and strategies and put them into practice, especially those that help delay the onset of chronic diseases and prolong life and the quality of life.

What type of activities will CHRODIS PLUS undertake?

Continuing the work of CHRODIS, CHRODIS PLUS will hold discussions at both Member State and EU level to generate proposals for actions in the fields of health promotion and primary prevention, providing guidance for health sector stakeholders.
In addition to other activities like developing a new Work Package on Integration in National Policies and Sustainability, CHRODIS PLUS will collaborate with others working in the field at international, national and local levels and will establish links with relevant European projects, particularly those with similar objectives like JA-NPA, JA-ADVANTAGE and the newly established JA-eHEALTH.

How will CHRODIS PLUS benefit EU citizens?

CHRODIS PLUS will empower patients, helping people to become more proactive and responsible for their own wellbeing, and will advocate a more holistic approach to health. It will help people to avoid developing chronic diseases in the first place through prevention and health promotion, calling increasingly on primary care givers to provide lifestyle counselling.

CHRODIS PLUS will also help improve the care of patients who already have chronic diseases, work to reduce inequalities in the provision of health care and address chronic diseases at the workplace. It also aims to help the elderly prolong their healthy years and maintain their independence.

That sounds like a lot to expect, but CHRODIS already laid the foundation and the potential is huge when experts share their knowledge to reach common goals. The Platform allows CHRODIS PLUS to obtain information from across the EU on care and treatment options that could readily be put to use in other countries. In addition to advocating primary care and innovative approaches to health care, CHRODIS PLUS also hopes to help patient groups become more effective advocates for change.

Will CHRODIS PLUS impact other EU concerns?

A healthier populace means a healthier economy. This is in line with the EU's 10-year economic growth strategy, Europe 2020, and is especially important given the prediction that in the next 20 years, the number of people age 65 and older may increase by 45%.