A number of procedures not routinely available on the NHS are at risk of being cut back further in changes proposed by Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group. Procedures of Limited Clinical Effectiveness (PoLCE) are procedures that are not normally available on the NHS due to evidence that some claim shows they have limited clinical effectiveness. Adherence to Medical Based Evidence (AEBM) has drawn criticism from a number of Enfield residents.
It is the responsibility of a patient’s GP or health professional to make an application for a PoLCE procedure. Some of these procedures include knee and hip operations as well as hearing aid procedures. Members of the Enfield over 50s Forum are alarmed at the proposals as the procedures at risk are carried out on members of the elderly community.
Patients, local people and Healthwatch Enfield have called on Enfield CCG to scrap these plans and engage more with those who are to be affected. Enfield CCG ran a consultation from early March to the end of June and the findings are due to be presented on 20th September.
Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton said:
"I understand the need for NHS hospitals and trusts to ensure that procedures and operations will have the best possible health impact for patients but it is vitally important that cost effectiveness alone is not the sole indicator by which this is measured.
“A number of my constituents have expressed concerns to me that the threshold for GPs being able to refer patients for certain procedures is due to be raised even higher. Many elderly people with complex health needs already suffer from appalling levels of loneliness and denying them access to beneficial treatment will only isolate them further.
“Our beleaguered NHS is at breaking point and the annual winter crisis has now become a summer crisis. Chronic underfunding has resulted patients waiting longer to be seen in A&E, longer for treatment and longer to be discharged. I will endeavour to ensure that our NHS secures the funding it deserves”.