The Royal College of Surgeons have written an open letter to six NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the West Midlands outlining their concerns about plans to impose restrictions on surgical treatments across the region, affecting more than 2 million people.
The letter is in response to a policy document the CCGs recently consulted on which details plans for thresholds being placed on procedures based on conditions becoming severe and restricting access for patients above a certain weight. Restrictions are also being placed on surgery to treat hearing loss in children, back ache and sleeping disorders.
The CCGS propose to delay surgical treatment for hernias and varicose veins until conditions are severe and refuse people knee and hip replacement surgery if their BMI is too high.
The Royal College of Surgeons say the CCGS have misquoted their guidance and they want to set the record straight that they do not support restrictions to surgical treatment.
Birmingham MP Steve McCabe MP said:
“It is shocking to learn that six CCGs across the West Midlands are proposing to restrict surgical treatment so severely. It makes no sense to let someone’s health condition worsen before they are treated. It is also appalling to hear they propose to restrict access to surgical treatment for children with hearing loss. What will they cut next?
“The NHS is teetering on the edge of a financial crisis and I am afraid this is just another way to save some cash. This government has lied about making extra funding available to the NHS and we are now seeing that Jeremy Hunt is using the CCGs as the fall guys to implement his cuts. These proposals are really worrying and terrible news for patients.”
You can read the open letter from the Royal College of Surgeons here: