Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS proposes to stop funding 17 “unnecessary” procedures

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 02 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k2903
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS in England has proposed to stop funding 17 procedures it considers unnecessary, to save money and eliminate unwarranted clinical variation across the country.

Under the plans tabled by NHS England four procedures will be funded only in exceptional circumstances, because of a lack of evidence for their effectiveness: injections for non-specific low back pain without sciatica; knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis; dilatation and curettage for heavy menstrual bleeding in women; and surgery for snoring.

A further 13 procedures (see box), including breast reduction, varicose vein surgery, removal of benign skin lesions, and tonsillectomy, will be performed on the NHS only when specific clinical criteria are met.

The 17 routine procedures are carried out about 350 000 times a year in total and cost …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription