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Royal college criticises CCGs for rationing services

The Royal College of Surgeons has written to six CCGs to criticise proposals to restrict referrals for several surgical procedures.

The CCGs in Birmingham, which serve over two million patients, plan on placing thresholds on referrals for hip and knee replacement and hernia operations as well as back pain treatment, among others.

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In a letter addressed to the chairs of the CCGs, the RCS urged them to reconsider their policies, warning that such a restriction on surgical referrals would ‘act as a barrier to patients receiving necessary clinical treatment.’

The letter added: ‘Some policies are presented as if they are supported by clinically-evidenced guidance but in fact contravene this guidance.’

Last July, Pulse revealed that some GPs are facing increasingly tighter restrictions on their ability to refer patients for specialist care by cash-strapped CCGs.