Senior surgeon warns of lengthening waiting times!
Increasing numbers of patients will suffer crippling pain as rationing spreads across the NHS, one of Britain’s most senior surgeons has warned.
Stephen Cannon, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said bans on all but the most urgent treatment would become commonplace without major changes to the funding of the health service.
In a letter to The Telegraph, Cannon said bans are a growing problem across the NHS.
“It is bad enough having to put up with crippling arthritis as waiting times get longer, but these sorts of delays can mean the hip crumbling away so the patient can’t even take a step. It also means that when patients do have surgery, it is infinitely more complex,” he said.
He warned that the country could go back to the days when patients waited two or three years for operations.
He called for extra funding for the NHS to cope with rising demand from an ageing population and warned too much money is being spent on bureaucracy.
Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, said blanket suspensions of non-urgent treatment risked lives.
Diseases such as cancer are often only detected when doctors investigated ailments which had not been identified as urgent, he said.
“This is an unacceptable decision which highlights the incredible financial pressure facing general practice and its impact on patient care,” he said.
It comes after Nuffield Trust said NHS treatments will need to be rationed and hospitals closed unless the health service makes unprecedented efficiency savings.
A report by the think tank also warned that the NHS might have to extend waiting times for treatment.