British hospitals deal shallowly with surgery
any clinical commissioning groups in the UK deny patients access to surgery. This is what reports the Royal College of Surgeons that has investigated on policies concerning four types of intervention: tonsillectomy, hip replacement, inguinal hernia repair and surgical treatment for glue ear (Otitis media with effusion). According to data, 58% of CCGs do not follow any policy at all, while over a third (44%) require patients to be in various degrees of pain and immobility or to lose weight before surgery.
In details, 73% do not respect NICE recommendations when treating hip replacements, 15% required evidence of a hernia increasing in size or a history of reoccurring problems, even if a patient is suffering from debilitating pain. As for tonsillectomy, one of the most common surgical procedures on children, it has been observed that some CCGs had minimum ‘watchful waiting’ periods, meaning that some patients may not have the surgery for a year and a half. Finally, 77% of CCGs do not follow clinical evidence on the commissioning of treatment for glue ear.
In the past, some commentators have suggested such arbitrary criteria are motivated by the need to make short-term savings in the NHS but experts argue that all this can impact on the outcome of surgery, so referrals to treatment must not be compromised by financial pressure.