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RCS comment on North Tyneside CCG referral guidance

11 Aug 2015

Commenting on North Tyneside CCGs referral management guidance, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

‘It is wrong to compulsorily require patients to attend a weight loss or stop smoking programme before surgery. Losing weight or giving up smoking must be considered by patients undergoing surgery in order to improve their outcomes, but for some patients these steps may not be possible.  For example, a patient may have already made substantial efforts to lose weight but in some cases it might be difficult to continue without, for example, a hip or knee operation.

'We are concerned that this blanket proposal will lengthen the time it takes for patients to receive treatment. Guidance in this area, including from NICE and the British Orthopaedic Association, is clear that obesity and smoking status should not be barriers to receiving joint surgery.'

Notes to editors

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.

The Royal College of Surgeons has produced clear guidance, accredited by the expert body NICE, to support those commissioning or buying surgery.

020 7869 6047/ 6052 Out-of hours: 07966 486 832

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