Hip and knee replacements to be rationed in west midlands

Three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the West Midlands have proposed reducing the number of people who qualify for knee replacements by 19%, and hip replacements by 12% to meet efficiency savings targets.

To qualify for the hip and knee replacements in the three CCG areas, patients would have to suffer from such severe levels of pain that they could not sleep or carry out routine tasks.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “We are concerned at plans which could lead to hip and knee replacements being rationed and operations only being provided to those with ‘severe pain.’ It is clear that the NHS is under significant pressure, but efficiency savings should be made in areas not likely to compromise patients’ care and experience. Furthermore, local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) responsible for making these decisions should consider the immediate and long term impact of not treating patients requiring hip and knee replacements.”