BOMSS has expressed relief that plans to transfer control of commissioning weight loss surgery to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been delayed.
BOMSS was concerned that the proposed transfer was being pushed through too quickly and would have impacted negatively on both patient care and access to cost-effective treatment.
Objections from BOMSS echoed those of the NHS Clinical Commissioners – the independent membership organisation of CCGs.
This week NHS England announced that the transfer of services would be halted and instead it launched a consultation into how it will prioritise which specialised services and treatments to invest in. It directly commissions around 145 specialised services and will consult on which of these it will continue to fund.
Mr Roger Ackroyd, the new president of BOMSS, says: “We were concerned about the transfer of commissioning to CCGs so quickly and without any clear evidence that the change would result in improved patient care.
“Surgery referrals are likely to have fallen and access to effective treatment made even more difficult for severely obese patients.”
BOMSS will now work to ensure that statutory safeguards to protect morbidly obese patients from inequality of access to NHS treatment are put in place before any new transfer plans are announced.