NHS England has proposed to stop funding 17 procedures that are considered unnecessary to save money within the health service. These procedures are said to lack supporting evidence on their effectiveness and cost around £400m every year.
The main procedures that would lose this funding are dilatation and curettage for heavy menstrual bleeding in women; knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis; injections for non-specific low back pain without sciatica; and surgery for snoring.
In addition, a further 13 treatments would only be offered where specific clinical conditions are met. This list comprises of varicose vein surgery; breast reduction; haemorrhoid surgery; hysterectomy for heavy menstrual bleeding; carpal tunnel syndrome release; Dupuytren’s contracture release; tonsillectomy; removal of benign skin lesions; removal of eyelid lesions; removal of bone spurs for shoulder pain; grommets for glue ear; excision of ganglia; and trigger finger release.
These changes could save the NHS as much as £200m each year and eliminate unnecessary clinical variation across the country.