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CCG plans to restrict surgery for smokers and the obese

CCG plans to restrict surgery for smokers and the obese


Plans to refuse surgery to smokers and people who are morbidly obese have been put forward by NEW Devon CCG as part of a cost-cutting scheme. 

Northern, Eastern and Western clinical commissioning group (CCG) said the measures are “urgent and necessary” because of a “worsening financial situation”. 

NEW Devon CCG returned a £14.5 million deficit last year, with the same deficit predicted for this year. However, the CCG has revealed concerns that it may not meet this deficit because demand for services is outstripping what it can afford. 

Overweight patients would be asked to lose weight before surgery, and smokers would be asked to quit for at least six weeks. 

Other cost-saving measures include introducing ‘criteria-based approval’ for hernia procedures, Botox injections and cataracts, as well as reducing unnecessary consultant-to-consultant referrals.

Rebecca Harriott, chief officer of the CCG said that services in the NHS constitution would be prioritised, such as providing a maximum two-week waiting time for suspected cancer patients and a maximum four-hour wait at A&E. 

She told the local paper: “We must act to protect essential services through our busiest winter months and ensure care is there for our patients when they really need it,” she said.

“These measures bring the CCG into line with similar organisations in the NHS. However, they are not enough.

“The CCG is working up a series of measures to prioritise those patients most in need, while at the same time, increasing efficiency in the wider system – and the CCG itself.”


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