- West Country
- 3 updates
Health bosses in Devon who were threatening to ban smokers or the morbidly obese from undergoing routine operations until they quit the habit or lose weight have abandoned the plans.
The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had previously said that due to temporary cost-cutting measures, patients would be expected to have a body mass index (BMI) below 35, while smokers would have to quit eight weeks ahead of surgery.
The plans announced last week made national headlines and even led to Exeter's Labour MP Ben Bradshaw claiming in the House of Commons that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles would be refused operations.
The Clinical Commissioning Group, which covers most of Devon from Plymouth to Barnstaple, had said the measures were to "prioritise essential services" and were being temporarily extended to all routine surgical procedures except those deemed urgent or immediately necessary, including cancer operations.
Now changes are being made following feedback from a wide range of stakeholders across health, social care and professional bodies on the proposals.
Health cuts in parts of Devon will be debated in Parliament today.
Restrictions on services in the north, east and west of the county will be raised by Exeter's Labour MP Ben Bradshaw - including the policy of stopping routine surgery for smokers or those deemed obese.
The MP caused a stir when he used Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as examples of people who would be denied NHS operations in Devon for these reasons.
A Labour MP has implied that neither the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, nor communities secretary Eric Pickles, would be able to get an NHS operation in Devon because of their lifestyles.
Ben Bradshaw was referring to the policy of the main commissioning group in the county to cut back on operations for smokers or people deemed to be obese.