More than half of NHS trusts are rationing treatments including cataract operations according to the latest report from the National Audit Office - Progress in making NHS efficiency savings (December 13).
It found that 56 per cent of primary care trust clusters reported they had introduced or raised eligibility criteria for at least one common elective procedure. Cataract patients may have to wait until their eyesight deteriorates to a greater degree before having surgery. Cataract procedures carried out in 2011-2012 dropped 1.9 per cent on 2010-2011.
The report found that eligibility was tightened for clinical reasons in most cases, but 11 per cent of clusters reported doing so mainly on financial grounds.