Bariatric surgery up 30-fold in decade

The Healthy Survey for England figures for 2010/11 show a 30-fold increase in 2010's bariatric surgery when compared to 2000.  The 2000's 8,087 operations, even though they include 1,444 for band adjustments, dwarfs the 261 that were "headline news " 12 years ago.  There was also a significant regional variation in the number of operations carried out and hospital admissions were also increasing - and increasingly varied across the country  - and three times more women than men were being given a primary diagnosis of obesity.  Tim Straughan,CEO of the NHS Information Centre which publishes the Survey, confirmed the growing impact of obesity on both people's health and NHS resources and suggested that health professionals working in the field might want to examine the regional discrepanicies.

Regional variations are very concerning to the National Obesity Forum [NOF] and, having examined them, it believes that they illustrate a postcode lottery which still exists in England.  It is deplorable.  Some Primary Care Trusts [PCTs] abide by the NICE [National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] in offering bariatric operations to obese patients  but others flout it by making it virtually impossible even for the morbidly obese to qualify for the surgery.  Hospital admissions vary similarly from region to region due to the disinclination of a significant number of surgeries referring needy patients.  The premise is that obesity is the patients' own fault and that the NHS shouldn't be expected to pay for treatment. 

 

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