NHS ‘rations’ treatments after cost cutting

Charlie Cooper writes in The Independent – More patients could be denied NHS treatments, with hearing aids, vasectomies and knee and hip operations among services set to be rationed in some areas, as a result of cost cutting by health authorties.

An investigation into 19 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which pay for NHS services at local level, carried out by GP magazine Pulse, found that several are planning to restrict access to routne care.

overweight and smoking

In some areas, smokers will be required to give up cigarettes, and obese people to lose weight, before being offered certain surgical procedures.

Earlier this year, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG introduced weight-loss and cessation-of-smoking criteria for all smokers and people with a body mass index over 35 needing hip and knee replacements.

Patients in Luton will also have to undergo a weight-loss programme or quit smoking before certain elective procedures, Pulse reported. A plan to implement a similar scheme in Devon was dropped last year shortly after it was announced, following criticism from surgeons.

Other rationing includes an NHS North Staffordshire CCG plan to deny access to hearing aids for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss – a move labelled “cruel” by the charity Action on Hearing Loss.

Dr James Kingsland, the president of the National Association of Primary Care, said that rationing “necessary care in a service that is free at the point of use” was “unacceptable”.

“Many people would agree with implementing these measures that are just clutching at straws”

The Stelios Award 2015

Creating Opportunities for Disabled Entrepreneurs:

Applications are now open for £50,000 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK 2015

The £50,000 award recognises talents of established business owners with a disability or long term health condition.
• The cash prize is the largest of its kind for disabled entrepreneurs.
• The award is run in conjunction with Leonard Cheshire Disability, the UK’s leading disability charity.
• Award is personally chosen and presented by easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou at a special ceremony in London on November 4th.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability are pleased to invite applications for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2015 worth £50,000.

Stelios AwardsThe award,  jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios.com) and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, (www.LeonardCheshire.org) recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges to set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.Now in its ninth year,  past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, homebuild and IT sectors as well as companies specialising in disability/mobility aids.

Applications are now being accepted online at www.leonardcheshire.org

The deadline for all applications is Friday 18 September 2015.
Sir Stelios said: “Creating opportunities for disabled people facing discrimination in business is essential.
The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs highlights their achievements and contribution to society.
We want to hear from talented disabled entrepreneurs who are able to show they have got what it takes to run a successful business and meet a real need in the market.
”Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability said: “We are delighted to work with Sir Stelios on an award that celebrates the remarkable achievements of disabled entrepreneurs.”I know there are many talented and successful disabled entrepreneurs out there. I urge them to take advantage of this unique opportunity for valuable recognition of their business and skills in cash and publicity and apply.”
Last year’s winner, Ben Wolfenden said: “Winning the 2014 award has meant so much to me both financially and personally. I’ve been able to solidify the team and our offering, grow some fantastic new clients and build a better working environment for my health.”
Ben said that despite undergoing a gruelling regime of medication and five hours of physiotherapy every day, he and his team have grown Visibilis by over 1000% in the year from 2012 to 2013, with 2014 exceeding expectations. He added, “I would urge anyone with a disability, whether you see yourself as an entrepreneur or not, to apply and let Stelios and his team decide! ends.
For full details on eligibility and an application form please visit www.leonardcheshire.org/stelios or call 020 7112 1489 (choose option 1).
Alternative application formats are available on request.
For media enquiries please contact Selina Mills on 020 3242 0298.
Email: Selina.Mills@leonardcheshire.org
Out of hours: 07903 949 388. Or call the general press office number on: 020 3242 0399
Or Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios.com) –
Richard Shackleton, Communications Director on 07905 779799/Tracy Ghori – UK Co-ordinator on07900606 557.  Email: richard.shackleton@easygroup.co.uk/tg@stelios.com
Notes for Editors
• Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of
services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries.
With over 7,500 staff, the charity supports over 7,000 disabled people in the UK.
Visit: www.leonardcheshire.org or follow us on twitter: @leonardcheshire
• The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is a registered charity in both Monaco and the UK and backs a number of charitable initiatives supporting entrepreneurship, education and the environment in the UK, Greece and Cyprus. Its “Food from the Heart” programme recently handed out its one millionth free lunchtime snack to beneficiaries in Greece and Cyprus worst hit by the financial crisis in southern Europe.
• Last year’s Stelios Award Winner was Ben Wolfenden, and his company Visibilis. (www.visibilis.co.uk) The Company offers complete digital marketing expertise through SEO, web design and digital tool development.