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What are Richmond's NHS changes? How can I be heard?

The local NHS has to save £20 million by April 2018, in order to meet its statutory duty not to go into debt. There are several aspects to the changes being made.

 

IVF, over the counter medications, smoking, obesity

The first changes are around IVF, over the counter medications, and treatment for smokers/obesity. Over 400 of you responded to a Richmond NHS survey on these themes and the NHS will shortly publish the results.
A formal consultation on IVF ran until 4 April, and results are expected soon.

Meanwhile commissioners are providing materials to GPs to help patients lose weight or stop smoking before operations, in order to improve results. They are also considering whether to reduce the prescribing of gluten free food, vitamins, and baby milk.

 

Surgical changes – cataracts, knee and hip replacements, bunions, grommets and more

There are many other additional changes that have been decided, and were not part of these consultations. At the Healthwatch Richmond event in December, members of the public asked questions around these.

Healthwatch Richmond asked Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group for a proper information campaign on these changes, and we are pleased the details have now been published. You can read the CCG’s document here on the surgical changes that have been decided. (printable version here)

The changes reduce the number of people who get treatments for second eye cataracts, knee and hip replacements, arthroscopic knee surgery, back pain injections, bunion surgery, Dupuytren’s fasciotomy surgery, carpal tunnel surgery, minor skin lesions, asymptomatic gallstones, circumcision (males), tonsillectomy, grommets, varicose veins and cosmetic procedures. If you are affected by these areas of change we encourage you to read the document.

Healthwatch Richmond view: "Some people may benefit from by having less invasive treatment. Other changes, however, could lead to a number of people facing additional months of pain, dysfunction or discomfort before they become eligible for treatment, or to poorer outcomes or increased accident risk. In some cases people will no longer have access to previously available treatment. Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (RCCG) has responded to our request to publish the details of these changes." Read about the changes here.

If you have comments on Richmond’s changes, you can email Richmond CCG at ccginvolve@richmond.gov.uk or write a letter to Richmond CCG, 1st Floor, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ.

 

To read about south west London's broader changes that also affect Richmond residents, click here

 

 

FROM OUR HEALTHWATCH RICHMOND NEWSLETTER (subscribe here)