Half a million hospital appointments to be slashed each year to reduce NHS waiting list.

Half a MILLION hospital appointments will be slashed each year in a bid to reduce the NHS waiting list: GPs, opticians and clinics will be asked to carry out further tests

  • Chiefs claim streamlining services will stop ‘unnecessary’ hospital visits 

Half a million hospital appointments will be slashed annually as part of plans to reduce the record NHS waiting list.

Health chiefs say streamlining services for conditions including glaucoma and mini-stroke will stop ‘unnecessary’ hospital visits. Instead, further tests will be conducted by GPs, opticians and clinics.

Under the guidelines, more MRI scans will be offered to men with suspected prostate cancer to reduce the number needlessly having biopsies while breast implant removal and child circumcisions will stop being funded on the NHS.

Health officials hope that by streamlining services for conditions such as glaucoma and mini-strokes will help plug ‘unnecessary’ hospital visits

The changes form part of a shake-up by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, endorsed by NHS England. The plans, which will save the NHS at least £250million a year, will see ten conditions added to a list now totalling 58 that should not be routinely provided.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said the changes will prevent thousands of needless referrals, ‘maximise efficiencies for the taxpayer’ and ensure ‘effective and efficient’ treatment.

A record 7.3million people are on waiting lists in England. Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said the decisions were ‘about improving the quality of care’.

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