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Comment on new Devon CCG decision to drop plans on routine surgery

11 Dec 2014

Commenting on NEW Devon CCG’s decision to drop plans which would have placed conditions on patients receiving routine surgery, Miss Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said:

‘We are pleased that commissioners have listened to the arguments which surgeons and others have made about ensuring access to scheduled surgery. We were concerned that conditions imposing restrictions to surgical services were being set up solely as a way to manage financial pressures.  By delaying operations using short-term measures this will store up greater pressures on the service in the future.

‘The need for an operation should always be judged by a surgeon based on clinical assessment of the patient and the risks and benefits of the surgery - not determined by arbitrary criteria. Losing weight, or giving up smoking is an important consideration for patients undergoing surgery in order to improve their health but for some patients these steps may prove extremely difficult.  A blanket ban on scheduled operations for those who cannot follow these measures is unacceptable and too rigid a measure for ensuring patients receive the best care possible.

‘The Royal College of Surgeons has worked hard to produce clear guidance, accredited by the expert body NICE to support those commissioning or buying surgery.’


1.    The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808.

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