Many CCGs ignoring surgical evidence

Published: 15 Jul 2014

AvMA welcomes the report of the Royal College of Surgeons on ‘Access to Surgery: A Postcode Lottery?’ which raises very obvious patient safety issues about the quality of clinical input to the GP commissioning of the surgical services for patients highlighted in the report.

Chair of AvMA’s trustees, Rita Lewis said: “Patient expectations for surgical referrals are such that all GP’s should at all times be guided by evidence based guidance from the RCS, other surgical speciality organisations and NICE referral criteria. If this was the process, then we could all be assured that the very best clinical advice forms the basis of referrals for surgery for all patients in all areas. The research by the RCS clearly shows that this is not necessarily the case. The Government and NHS England need to investigate further and more widely the procedures for evidence based clinical guidance and criteria that are being used in the Clinical Commissioning Groups for referrals for the entire range of surgical procedures to ensure equity across all CCG’s. Without such an investigation not only are patients’ referrals a potential subject of ‘postcode lottery’ but patients not receiving surgery at the clinically appropriate time raises potential patient safety risks.”