Log In
Saturday 23rd June 2018

Money wasted on unnecessary surgery

15th May 2009

The Health Service Journal has published an analysis by the Office of Health Economics which suggests £144 million is wasted on unnecessary NHS operations.


Data gathered for the Department of Health as part of a trial of patient questionnaires was analysed by the OHE. They estimated that about 20,000 patients underwent groin hernia and varicose vein removal surgery every year although they were not in pain.

The OHE said of all patients who had surgery, 13,500 would feel the same following the operation and 17,400 would report that they felt "worse".

In patients who had hip and knee replacement surgery, 9,100 would not experience a change and 7,200 would not feel as good as before the operation.

In April, the health service started to ask patients to report how they felt before and three months following their operation.

The NHS will be able to use the collected data to see how hospitals, doctors, surgeons and clinical teams are performing.

King’s Fund chief economist John Appleby said: "PROMs will be a way for hospitals to start benchmarking themselves and for PCTs to start to look at the data and ask hard questions of their providers – comparing not just between hospitals but between clinicians."

"You have to dig deeper – it is not simply a case of saying those patients should not get an operation."


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2018