NHS rationing putting hernia patients’ lives at risk, say surgeons

Full story in The Guardian, 17 July 2018.

Patients with hernia problems are being left in pain and at risk of needing emergency surgery, and even of death, because the NHS is increasingly rationing surgery to treat it.

The number of NHS bodies across England that are restricting access to inguinal hernia surgery has doubled since 2014 as a result of cost cutting, surgeons have warned.

Almost six in 10 (57%) NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) “are denying patients quick access to the procedure”, claimed the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) and the British Hernia Society.

[…] “It is an absolute disgrace that some patients have to demonstrate what could be a life-threatening complication of a hernia, which is one of the most straightforward surgical conditions to treat,” said Susan Hill, a senior vice-president of the RCS.