Plans to deny NHS operations to save money 'unthinkable', says Dr. Mike Smith

Plans to delay operations on financial grounds 'unthinkable', says Dr Mike Smith

Groups in the West Midlands have proposed denying hip operations to those who aren't in severe pain

Friday, January 27, 2017

A leading doctor has blasted proposals to save money by denying patients operations until they reach a certain threshold of pain.

Patients who require a hip operation will only receive their treatment if they are in severe pain - to the point where they can't sleep or go about their daily lives under new plans - to ration NHS resources. 

Three Clinical Commissioning groups in the West Midlands have proposed this in order to save £2 million annually, but the move has already drawn criticism from groups such as the Royal College of Surgeons, who called it "alarming". 

Dr Mike Smith, the Chairman of the Patients Association, said this was "unthinkable" in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer. 

He said: “If you’re ill, you're ill. Now, degrees of illness come into it to some extent.

“If you’ve really got to hang on until you’re in tight pain, it will be life changing in a way that will get people sitting around and putting on more weight.

“Rationality has been kicked out of the window, it’s unthinkable that you delay this on financial grounds."