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RCS response to Audit Commission report on limiting access to surgical procedures

14 April 2011

Responding to the Audit Commission report Reducing expenditure on low clinical value treatments published today (14 April 2011), RCS President John Black said:

“The Royal College of Surgeons is disappointed that the Audit Commission briefing, published today, has fallen into the trap of considering only short term savings and not the long-term costs of denying treatment based on blanket bans on certain procedures. We are concerned that the headline figures used in the briefing are based solely on what one Primary Care Trust considers low priority treatments, without consultation with surgeons and other clinicians who have the expert knowledge of what patients need. There is a real risk that delaying or denying surgery causes complications and more serious conditions developing later on. Many of the procedures listed have a profound impact on quality of life for patients. This is a further example of healthcare rationing decisions made with a poor evidence base and being undertaken without proper, honest public debate and consultation.”

A full briefing on “Procedures of limited clinical value” may be found here.