NHS has been told to save money by removing funding to a dozen select surgeries, including liposuction and non-visible haematuria surgeries. This as NHS chiefs are hoping for more funding cut down on what they deem ‘wasteful’ spending in order to save £2 billion.
The NHS is looking for ways to crack down on “wasteful” spending of taxpayers’ money and focus more on more effective treatments. There are currently more than 7 million waiting for surgeries across the UK.
The list of surgeries that could be axed have been drawn up by NHS chiefs along with senior medics at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and includes 15 different medical procedures. The list shows procedures that according to health service chiefs should lose routine funding and some surgeries should only be performed by the NHS under specific criteria.
The list comes after Rishi Sunak said he is trying to fill a £50 billion “fiscal black hole”. Professor Sir Stephen, NHS medical director, told the Daily Telegraph that the health service “aims to give patients the most effective treatments possible at an affordable price for taxpayers", and that the NHS "routinely assess and change services to make sure they are as efficient as possible".
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges chairman, Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, said: "Any money saved from procedures which the evidence tells us are no longer clinically appropriate is spent on procedures which are. Medicine is constantly evolving and the Evidence-based Interventions programme is about capturing those clinical advances and making sure we offer the best and most appropriate care to the greatest number of people."
“In short, this programme is about making sure we don’t waste money doing things that don’t work and we are instead redirecting that cash towards those things that are proven to be beneficial.”
The NHS and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said that reducing spending on certain surgeries gives the opportunity to redirect more money towards surgeries that are proven more beneficial. In 2020, they suggested the removal of 31 procedures including imaging of lower-back pain.
Full list of surgeries that NHS could stop funding
- Male gynaecomastia reduction surgery
- Breast prosthesis removal
- Corrective surgery for congenital breast asymmetry
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT) use in diabetic retinopathy referral
- Shared decision-making for cataract surgery
- Glaucoma referral criteria
- Thyroid nodule referral and investigation
- Asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis screening
- Management of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs)
- Diastasis recti repair
- Angioplasty for PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) in stable angina
- Non-visible haematuria
- Needle biopsy of prostate
- Penile circumcision