BOMSS defends bariatric surgery

An article – http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/18/simon-stevens-trying-save-nhs-from-mother-of-messes – quotes Simon Stevens as saying that if the 1.4 million most severely obese people in UK received bariatric surgery it would use up the entire extra £8.2bn the NHS has just been given.

Mr Roger Ackroyd, the president of BOMSS, says: “There is no suggestion – and no capacity – for the NHS to treat this number of people.

The NHS currently spends about £40 million per annum on bariatric surgery. If this was doubled (to 14,000 operations a year) surgeons would be treating just 1% of patients who might benefit and still doing less than half the number done in France (same population as us).

It would only use 0.5% of the £8.2bn of “new” NHS money but, crucially, would enable the NHS to reap enormous savings within a few years of bariatric surgery by significantly curbing costs of treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks as repeatedly demonstrated by health economists. http://news.sky.com/story/1610936/weight-loss-surgery-could-save-nhs-money

Bariatric surgery is safe and effective. It helps give people back their health and quality of life – and reduces social security benefit and healthcare costs.”


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