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Posted on 31st January 2017

Knee and hip replacements to be reduced to save money

Cost-cutting plans will see the number of patients eligible for knee and hip replacements slashed in Worcestershire.

Despite criticism from surgeons, three Clinical Commissioning Groups have decided to treat the most severe cases only. This is determined on how the patient’s pain affects their daily life and ability to sleep.

Bosses at Redditch and Bromsgrove, South Worcestershire, and Wyre Forest estimate by doing 350 fewer operations a year they will save £2million a year.

The Royal College of Surgeons told the BBC that the proposals have “no clinical justification”.

CCG documents said a "patient's pain and disability should be sufficiently severe that it interferes with the patient's daily life and/or ability to sleep".

Stephen Cannon, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said the scoring system used, known as the Oxford scoring system, "should not be used to create barriers to care".

Gordon Wainwright, from Malvern, is waiting for a hip operation and told the BBC he was concerned about the new system: "If you are filling in the Oxford test, as we all do, if you want to get the op done you're probably going to not be totally truthful because you want to get your operation done.”

A spokesperson for NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, on behalf of the three groups, said: "If a patient feels that they require this surgery but do not meet these criteria, there is a clear appeals system."

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