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Invisible conditions: Jill's story

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Jill, 56, has two very common ‘invisible’ conditions, Type 1 Diabetes and Heart Disease.


While she has been managing her diabetes since she was diagnosed in 1970, her Heart Disease diagnosis came much more recently.

“Five years ago I had a heart attack, and when the stent failed, I had to undergo a bypass. As a result, my upper body strength isn't what it used to be. I get tired easily, and simple day-to-day activities can be draining.

“I still go to the gym, and I’ve continued to work, so most people can’t understand why simple tasks such as shopping and gardening are problematic for me. When your symptoms aren’t visible, it can be tough to explain that you have physical limitations.”

Jill’s experience of care has at times been good, but she feels that there are areas which can be improved.

“After my bypass surgery I received outstanding care from my cardio rehab team, however, after I finished my rehabilitation there was no ongoing support. While I self-manage my conditions, it would be helpful if my GP or local hospital offered support, including cholesterol checks, so that I can make sure I’m on track.

“At times it feels that when I’m at my GP it’s about ticking boxes off a list instead of looking at me as an individual. In general, I think there needs to be more of a focus on the individual needs of the patient and a greater focus on personalised care.”

If you have an invisible condition, you may use health and care services regularly and know a lot about the quality of care. CQC need you to tell us about your care, good or bad. Your information will help CQC inspectors decide when, where and what to inspect and it could stop poor care happening to someone else in the future. Use our online form to tell us about your care.

Last updated:
29 May 2017


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