Last chance to tell NHS England to keep routine funding for ALL 17 elective surgical procedures it wants to axe

UPDATE 4 Oct 2019 – Of course, after their ‘lip service’ consultation, NHS England went ahead with their so-called Evidence-Based Interventions Programme. This means the NHS has withdrawn routine funding for the 17 elective procedures they ‘consulted’ on.

The rubbish NHS England public consultation on their equally rubbish proposal to stop routine funding for 17 elective surgical procedures ends on Saturday 28th September.

Here is our guidance (pdf) on completing the NHS England online consultation, if you feel like it.

Otherwise, if you want to take part in the 999 Call for the NHS consultation – which is far shorter and more to the point – you can still do it online here. (Once you’re on the webpage, scroll down to the form at the bottom.)

Around 90-100 members of the public have completed the 999 Call for the NHS consultation cards, which have now been sent to NHS England, to include in their consultation.

posting responses 999 17 elective cuts consultation

People mostly filled in these consultation cards on the street – although thanks to Mikron Theatre, a number were completed in the interval of their performance of Revolting Women in Huddersfield.

(The cuts to 17 elective surgical procedures would seem to disproportionately hit women and children – which just goes to show that getting the vote is necessary but not sufficient.)

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 18.42.33

CK999 has responded to the NHS England public consultation and we also told the quango what we think at their consultation event in Leeds just over a month ago.

This event revealed how threadbare their justifications are for stopping routine funding of 17 elective surgical procedures, and only funding them in exceptional cases.

The procedures include things like tonsillectomy, surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, breast reduction, varicose veins and grommets for glue ear in children.

Although NHS England call the consultation “Evidence based interventions”, their spokespeople were unable to produce evidence for their plan. Instead they came up with un-evidenced assertions, anecdotes and appeals to authority.

Thanks to everyone who’s taken part in the 999 Call for the NHS consultation

In the month since the consultation event, CK999 and friends from other campaign groups – including Leeds Keep Our NHS Public, Airedale 38 Degrees, Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public and Leeds Hospital Alert – have handed out over 900 leaflets about NHS England’s consultation.  Thank you, everyone who gave and received them.

Update 20.11.2022 – surgeons say the unregulated varicose vein industry is causing serious health complications in ‘clients’

Varicose vein surgery was one of the 17 procedures that had routine NHS funding stopped under this so-called Evidence-Based Interventions programme. Now, as a predictable consequence, there has been a boom in beauticians without medical supervision providing varicose vein surgery and injections across the UK, with the equally predictable consequence of serious health complications among ‘clients’ for these procedures.

The Observer has reported,

“A recent rush of beauticians offering the treatments in the UK appears to have been spurred by a wave of new courses, including some that are online only and appear to be run by non-healthcare professionals.”

The newspaper did not make the link with the removal of routine NHS funding for varicose vein procedures.

Related consultation on Accountable Care Organisation/Integrated Care Provider contract

It never rains but it pours.

NHS England is also holding an equally flawed consultation on their proposed Accountable Care Organisation contract – which they’ve rebranded the Integrated Care Provider contract.

They are holding the consultation despite the fact that 999 Call for the NHS are challenging the lawfulness of this contract in a Court of Appeal hearing this autumn.

So it might not even be lawful.

Stop the Accountable Care Organisation/Integrated Care Provider contract

The Health Campaigns Together online petition to stop the Integrated Care contract is here .

It supports the 999 Call for the NHS Court of Appeal hearing this autumn.


Please give whatever you can afford to help raise the £18,000 needed to bring the case to the Court of Appeal. Any amount – big or small – is a wonderful help and much appreciated.

The petition tells NHS England:

“The Integrated Care Provider contract is under judicial review and is going to the Appeal Court very soon. We believe it is wrong for NHS England to proceed with a consultation on a contract that may not be legal.”

The proposed new contract is related to NHS England’s plan to end routine funding for elective surgical procedures – 17 at the moment, but far more planned for the next stage

The proposed new cost-cutting Accountable Care Organisation contract would change the way NHS providers are paid – loading them with increased financial pressure and risk.

999 Call for the NHS argue that the effect would be to drive NHS providers to cut corners on staff and patient safety standards, and to restrict patients’ access to the treatments they need.

If NHS England had already banned routine funding of a number of elective surgical procedures, this would mask the extent to which the new contract restricted patients’ access to treatments, on the basis of financial considerations.

Jo Land, one of 999 Call for the NHS Judicial Review campaign team, said:

“The Accountable Care Organisation contract might seem like a dry legal issue that’s hard to get bothered about. The reality is anything but. This is about whether patients can continue to access the treatments they need, or whether the doctor -patient relationship will be undermined by making doctors put financial considerations ahead of patients’ clinical needs.”

Time is short. Please take whatever action you can to protect the #NHS4All.


  1. I do not like to see ANY NHS services, which we all could rely on, being dropped. If we really are this short of funding, let’s drop TRIDENT – that would release enough to cover all these services and more


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