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HSJ Exclusive: Trusts charging for ops restricted on the NHS

An investigation by HSJ has found that hospital trusts are continuing to allow patients to pay to have procedures which are banned or tightly restricted on the NHS. The news triggered a protest letter to the trusts from NHS England.

Four operations are banned on the NHS and another 13 are very restricted under rules brought in by NHSE in April 2019. The banned operations can only be carried out with special permission. This is on the basis that “the evidence shows that in most cases the benefits don’t justify the risk and opportunity cost involved”, although patients and families are often keen to receive them.

NHSE guidance from November 2018, stated that because of concern “some patients may seek to get access to these treatments privately even if they are not appropriate… we do not expect NHS providers to offer these interventions privately”.

Full story in HSJ, 9 July 2019

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