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RCS response to Welsh government plan on orthopaedic services

07 Oct 2015

Commenting on Welsh Government plans to encourage overweight patients to lose weight before orthopaedic surgery, RCS President Miss Clare Marx said:

‘It is absolutely right for the Welsh Government to look at ways to encourage patients to lose weight or stop smoking before surgery. The evidence shows that smoking or being overweight is not only bad for your health but can affect your recovery and outcomes from surgery.

‘Today’s announcement indicates that this is a voluntary scheme. This is the best approach as in some cases it might be difficult for patients to lose weight without surgery or they might require urgent treatment. We would not support this scheme if it became a mandatory requirement for all patients before surgery.

‘We also welcome the Welsh Government’s plans to improve the way we identify and prioritise patients in need of urgent orthopaedic treatment. We look forward to working with the NHS Wales to help achieve this.'

Notes to editors:

 The Welsh Government's plan can be found online here:

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) 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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