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Home Industry News Most obese patients ‘prioritised for surgery’

Most obese patients ‘prioritised for surgery’

21st January 2010

The NHS is prioritising the most obese patients for surgery, despite guidelines advising against this, reports state.

According to the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), recent research shows that many foundations are granting obesity surgery to those who are the most overweight in a bid to save money.

However, this is a false economy in the long term, it added, as those who are extremely overweight require many follow-up treatments, the organisation explained.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines state that patients with a body mass index of 40 or above should be referred straight away for surgery.

They also recommend that people with a BMI between 35 and 40 who have other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, should also be operated upon.

RCS director of education professor Mike Larvin said: “NICE guidelines are meant to signal the end of postcode lotteries, yet local commissioning groups are choosing not to deliver on obesity surgery.”

Meanwhile, according to a poll carried out by Slimming World and YouGov last September, only seven per cent of respondents believed that they were classified as obese, although 27 per cent fell into this category.

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