Patients left in agony as NHS hip operations axed after savage Tory cuts

Thousands of patients are being left in agonising pain due to savage NHS cuts , a shock report reveals.

NHS rationing has led to soaring numbers being denied hip operations because they are not deemed to be suffering the highest levels of discomfort, the King’s Fund think-tank says.

And dying patients are left on their own without pain relief for up to eight hours after community nursing cuts.

The report also predicts a rise in sexually transmitted diseases, resulting from cash-starved sexual health services.

British Medical Association council chair, Dr Mark Porter, said: “Patients are unfairly suffering consequences of a deliberately underfunded NHS at breaking point.”

And Janet Davies, Britain’s most senior nurse, added: “This report lifts the lid on the dangers of trying to provide nursing care on the cheap.”

Patients are being denied a £5,000 hip replacement
(Photo: Getty)

The NHS has been set a Government target of £22billion worth of “efficiency savings” by 2021, leading to some non-urgent procedures being rationed.

Some patients are denied £5,000 hip surgery unless their pain is so severe they cannot sleep through the night.

Other areas have denied procedures to overweight patients and smokers.

Some are told they must be on painkillers four to five times a day for two months before being considered.

The number of hip replacements in 2015 fell – despite the ageing population – from 78,430 in 2014 to 77,572. Waiting times for hip ops are also rising fast.

Royal College of Surgeons chief Clare Marx says patients are being “stripped of their rights to timely NHS surgical care”, suffering a “serious impact”.

Clare Marx says ‘patients are being stripped of their rights’

She added: “Restricting surgery simply delays the inevitable, adding to the cost, often prolonging use of pain relief.”

Savage cuts to community nurses has led to dying patients being without pain relief for hours on end, the report says. The number of district nurses fell by almost half between 2000 and 2014.

One hospice manager told the King’s Fund: “You can wait up to eight hours…for patients experiencing pain and discomfort in the last two to three days of their life, it has a massive impact.”

The Fund also warned of an increase in sexually transmitted diseases after cuts of up to 20% in funding, despite increasing demand for the services.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The NHS is now doing 5,000 more operations every day compared to 2010, so accusations of inappropriate rationing are misplaced.”

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