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Half of CCGs are planning to increase NHS rationing, finds survey

GPs may soon encounter higher levels of rationing of treatments available for patient referral.

The King's Fund's latest quarterly monitoring report found that 51% of CCGs are planning to extend eligibility criteria for treatments as part of their efforts to balance the books.

Meanwhile, 44% of CCGs said they were planning to place more limits on access to treatments such as IVF.

The think tank, which interviewed 27 CCG finance leads alongside a larger number of hospital trust finance chiefs, said this could include introducing targets for BMI or smoking cessation in order to approve certain treatments in secondary care.

The latest findings also include over half of CCG leaders (59%) saying they feel that patient care has worsened in their area in the past year, with the pressures on general practice their second biggest concern after A&E waiting times.

Pulse reported earlier this week that plans to cope with winter demand this year ‘seem very hospital focused’ and miss the ‘vital role’ of GPs.

Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at The King’s Fund, said the survey results are ‘sobering and shows that the NHS funding pressures are now having a real impact on the people using its services’.

He said: ‘This should be a warning for the Chancellor as he prepares the Budget. Funding growth for the NHS is planned to slow to a near halt next year, so without additional funding waiting times for hospital treatment will get longer and the deterioration in patient care is set to continue.’

Readers' comments (2)

  • The NHS is not a comprehensive service;

    You may not get treatment at all

    More commonly your consultation will be delayed,to a point,where you will not find it acceptable to wait,given the normal level of realistic anxiety.

    It is not a comprehensive service

    Absurdly it is free at point of delivery,but not comprehensive.

    The vast majority of patients understand this,though it is intriguing to meet those who purport not to, and to speculate as to whether they are truly unaware, or putting on an act.

    I think Dame Sally would've been wiser to spend her advertising money on emphasising this point rather than trying to save antibiotics from extinction.

    We generally have an idea what is wrong with us, and can afford private,the rich go private anyway,and the poor cannot afford to.However the vast swathe of the population in the middle could just about afford it, if it were really necessary.They tend not to understand how necessary, because a vast NHS/political propaganda machine incessantly peddles the clearly untrue myth that the NHS is comprehensive

    It is not

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  • Poor strategy and people running a good service. This type of action should be first shared with the users , then with frontline staff.
    Now we overworked gps have to explain to patients. Often rationing is not communicated to us and referrals bounced so both GP and secretary have additional work ..leaving patients fed up and saying my friend had the service last year..what is wrong with your practice.

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