Smokers and the morbidly obese in Devon will be denied routine surgery unless they quit smoking or lose weight. Patients with a BMI of 35 or above will have to shed 5% of their weight while smokers will have to quit eight weeks before surgery. The NHS in Devon has a £14.5m deficit and says the cuts are needed to help it meet waiting list targets. The measures were announced the same day government announced an extra £2bn of annual NHS funding.
The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) organises most NHS treatment in the area. It announced a range of cost-cutting measures on Wednesday including only providing one hearing aid, instead of the normal two, to people with hearing loss. Shoulder surgery will also be restricted.