Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Hospitals are denying smokers and obese patients treatment on the NHS

Published on 07/03/2012

The NHS has been accused of trying to save money by denying smokers and obese patients treatments like cataract surgery, joint replacements and IVF, unless they change their lifestyle.

Smokers are being denied treatment like hip and knee replacements and IVF

Freedom of Information requests obtained by GP magazine Pulse from 91 NHS trusts in England show that 25 have imposed restrictions on surgery since April 2011.

A total of 11 NHS trusts barred smokers and the obese from hip and knee replacements, whilst nine denied them IVF.

NHS Hertfordshire imposed a controversial ban last year on knee and hip operations for anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 as well as smokers. This ban has now been extended to cover ALL routine surgery.

In NHS Bedfordshire, anyone with a body mass index above 35 is also banned from having hip or knee surgery, unless they reduce their BMI to below 35 or lose 10 per cent of their body weight.

Patients deemed unsuitable for surgery are being sent on weight management courses or to ‘stop smoking’ clinics.

Doctors and managers insist that these restrictions are medically justified. Smokers and obese patients are more likely to develop breathing difficulties or heart problems whilst under general anaesthetic, and hip and knee operations tend to be less successful in the obese.

However, critics are concerned that these trusts are imposing the restrictions in order to save money. With efficiency savings of £20bn expected to be made over the next 3 years by the NHS, many health trusts have resorted to restricting certain treatments and services- dubbed the ‘NHS postcode lottery’.

Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: ‘It’s becoming the deserving and the undeserving. I think it’s discriminatory and I find it astonishing. The Government should determine what should be applied universally.’

With so much financial pressure being put on the NHS, private medical insurance will guarantee you complete control over your healthcare with no postcode lottery, so compare health insurance quotes online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
Hospitals are denying smokers and obese patients treatment on the NHSThe NHS has been accused of trying to save money by denying smokers and obese patients treatments like cataract surgery, joint replacements     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

I found the quality of service to be very helpful, and pretty much above my expectation. I'd recommend anyone to use ActiveQuote.

Review centre member

Very helpful and polite and always try their best to obtain the best quotes. Have been using them for the last 3 years and will continue to use them in the future.

Review centre member

A great service from the initial call, to finalising the agreement. I would highly recommend to my family and friends.

Review centre member

Proactive, efficient, and offered me insurance I need. I would say half price I would end up paying if I did it by myself. Many thanks.

Review centre member

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...