Are smokers and obese patients being refused surgery on the NHS?

With Britain currently ranking as having the highest level of obesity in Europe, the NHS is considering proposals to ban smokers and patients classed as severely obese (with a body mass index of over 40) from non-emergency surgery. This would only change if smokers tried to quit and were seen to be reducing the amount they smoke, and when obese people have reduced their BMI to 30 or less, within nine months.

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These restrictions have already started in parts of Britain, with waiting times for surgery delayed for six to twelve months. Obesity is no longer a condition only affecting older people, as 1 in 4 adults are obese and two out of three overweight. Over the next 20 years, it’s expected that the number of obese adults in the country could reach 26 million, which could result in a rise of over a million extra cases of diabetes.


A spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons advised that support should be offered to obese patients to lose weight before undergoing surgery, for their general health.

With the financial pressures the NHS is facing, budgets are being cut, so overall services have to be streamlined. A contract research organization could help reduce these pressures.

Patients who fail to meet the necessary criteria will not be refused surgery but will have to wait longer than normal. The NHS clinical commission group want patients to lead a healthier lifestyle and be more responsible for their own well-being and say that it is vital these patients are given the necessary skills to accomplish this. By introducing the six month waiting period, it will encourage patients to undertake a lifestyle change and will enable them to have a successful outcome after surgery.

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There are established programs available for people wishing to stop smoking and lose weight, and the CCG is encouraging patients to attend these groups to achieve better health.
Obese people are at risk of developing a variety of potentially life-threatening diseases, including diabetes. The NHS have realised that Vaping could be a really good alternative to stop smoking and in some places have actually started encouraging people to make this crossover taking away the nicotine levels and reducing the risk of cancer.  If you want to try the different flavours available and a great free same day delivery then you could try the Vape Shop Gloucester which you can find at links including . The NHS is under enormous pressure financially, so cannot continue supporting patients who are not willing to be responsible for their own actions. Obesity and smoking related illnesses are on the increase annually and currently about £9 billion is spent per year on patients living with these illnesses.