BOMSS defends bariatric surgery

An article – – 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.

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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