The NHS Has Indefinitely Banned Smokers and the Obese From Receiving Surgery

New controversial plans have been drawn up in Hertfordshire that allows the NHS to ban obese and patients who smoke from receiving nonemergent surgery until have lost weight and or quit smoking.

These restrictions are thought to be some of the most extreme and have already been criticised by the Royal College if Surgeons, the vice president had called for “urgent rethink” of policies which he said were “discriminatory” and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS. Also that it is “Singling out patients in this way goes against the principles of the NHS,”

“This goes against clinical guidance and leaves patients waiting long periods of time in pain and discomfort. It can even lead to worse outcomes following surgery in some cases,” Ian Eardley senior vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons

Although throughout the year more obstacles have been put in place for such patients to overcome. Earlier this month The Guardian reported that obese and smokers would face a six-month ban from surgery but those circumstances have been elevated with these new plans.

In short these new regulations that the NHS has implemented means that smokers will only be referred for surgery when they have been nicotine free for at least eight months and have passed a breathalyzer test beforehand.

Also those obese patients under the new rules by the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” that is unless there are exceptional circumstances.

East and North Hertfordshire CCG have argued that the ban is to encourage people “to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, wherever possible, freeing up limited NHS resources for priority treatment”. This ban is seeking to save both an estimated £68 million this year.



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