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Healthcare rationing plans dropped


12 December 2014

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Plans to place conditions on surgery for smokers and the obese have been stopped.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) last year stated that patients with a BMI of more than 35 or above would have to shed 5% of their body weight before surgery.

Due to fierce criticism from leading health organisations, smokers would also have to give up their habit completely eight weeks prior to surgery.

Plans to place conditions on surgery for smokers and the obese have been stopped.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) last year stated that patients with a BMI of more than 35 or above would have to shed 5% of their body weight before surgery.

Due to fierce criticism from leading health organisations, smokers would also have to give up their habit completely eight weeks prior to surgery.

The plan was an attempt to help cut the £14.5m deficit, but came under fierce criticisms from leading healthcare organisations – including the Royal College of Surgeons – who believed that weight loss wasn’t always possible.

Ben Bradshaw, former Labour health minister and MP for Exeter, welcomed the change of plan.

He said: "What we're talking about at the moment in Devon, and I think people need to understand this, is a wholesale rationing of healthcare in a way we've never seen in the NHS."

A CCG spokesman said: "We announced a series of measures to improve health outcomes in October. This produced a helpful public debate which we have followed with interest.

"We have come to the conclusion that there is already a strong public acceptance of the need for people to continue to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

"We have therefore decided to further promote smoking cessation and weight loss services to improve outcomes for patients."

 

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