Postcode lottery for key surgeries; NHS should reduce 'low clinical value treatments'


Patients experience persistent and widespread variations in the chances of undergoing surgery for common medical conditions on the NHS such as knee and hip replacements, a new study has revealed.

The findings were released the same day as a report suggesting the NHS could save up to £500m a year by carrying out fewer ‘low clinical value treatments' deemed ineffective or inefficient. Research by The King's Fund suggested many patients were not being given surgery they need and that some may be undergoing operations they do not benefit from. It found significant variations between primary care trusts (PCTs) in the rates of common operations even after allowing for legitimate factors that affect rates of surgery. Inparticular, patients from more deprived areas were less likely...

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