The doctors' professional body, the Royal College of Surgeons, has condemned plans to ration care in Devon due to growing financial crisis .
Commenting on NEW Devon CCGs agreed plans to alter the provision of surgical services, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons said:
"We remain concerned that NEW Devon CCG are rationing access to scheduled surgery solely as a way to manage financial pressures. By delaying operations using short-term measures this will store up greater pressures on the service in the future.
"The need for an operation should always be judged by a surgeon based on their clinical assessment of the patient and the risks and benefits of the surgery - not determined by arbitrary criteria. Losing weight, or giving up smoking is an important consideration for patients undergoing surgery in order to improve their outcomes but for some patients these steps may not be possible. A blanket ban on scheduled operations for those who cannot follow these measures is unacceptable and too rigid a measure for ensuring patients receive the best care possible.
"The Royal College of Surgeons has worked hard to produce clear guidance, accredited by the expert body NICE to support those commissioning or buying surgery."
The full guidance can be accessed here.