Last Word: Obese patients should not have easy access to surgery

NHS East and North Hertfordshire - the primary care trust (PCT) for Comet country - is denying obese patients lifesaving surgery, according to the British Obesity Surgery Patient Association. It says the PCT is ignoring current guidance from the National

NHS East and North Hertfordshire - the primary care trust (PCT) for Comet country - is denying obese patients lifesaving surgery, according to the British Obesity Surgery Patient Association.

It says the PCT is ignoring current guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which states that weight loss surgery should be offered to all patients with a BMI over 50 as a first line treatment.

The PCT is offering surgery only to obese patients who have diabetes or severe sleep apnoea.

I fully support the PCT's standpoint. If weight loss surgery, such as having a gastric band fitted, is not readily available, it may inspire people who are obese to use willpower and self-discipline to lose weight.


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It will prevent them from putting an unnecessary strain on the health service, with the initial cost of weight loss surgery reaching up to �14,000.

Getting up off the sofa and going for a walk is free.

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It doesn't cost anything to lose weight through healthy eating and exercise.

It's a lethal combination of greed and laziness which has led to a demand for weight loss surgery, and it is this that needs to be addressed.

People who are obese have put themselves in that predicament and should not expect someone else to pay for them to get out of it. It's a drain on the NHS, in terms of both time and money.

What I am dismayed about is the fact the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group, which commissions services on behalf of the PCT, has said that the intention is to "move towards full compliance with NICE guidance".

It says it aims to develop weight loss surgery services within the East of England, in response to an increased demand for surgery.

This move will cause spiralling costs for the NHS and I wholly object to it.

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