Responding to a report from the Medical Technology Group’s Ration Watch campaign, which found that a number of CCGs are ‘rationing’ some common procedures such as cataract surgery, NHS Clinical Commissioners said:
“Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are led by GPs whose first priority is always to the patient. Wherever possible they want to give them what they need. Unfortunately the NHS does not have unlimited resources and ensuring patients get the best possible care against a backdrop of spiralling demands, competing priorities and increasing financial pressures is one of the biggest issues CCGs face. On a daily basis they are forced to make difficult decisions that balance the needs of the individual against those of their entire local population. As a result there are some tough choices that have to be made, which we appreciate can be difficult for some patients.
“With huge pressures being felt across the whole health and care system, the NHS has to review services to ensure they are sustainable and improve the health of the wider population. Clinical commissioners have a responsibility to consider the needs of their whole populations, reduce inequalities and improve quality of care while making the most effective use of the limited NHS pound.”