Research Article| Volume 63, ISSUE 9, P1437-1442, September 2010

Cosmetic surgery in the NHS: Applying local and national guidelines


      There is no worldwide consensus, as to how healthcare should be funded, in a modern society. Limited resources in the UK, have led to restrictions on cosmetic surgery in the NHS. Guidelines governing access to cosmetic surgery have been formulated. A retrospective audit has been undertaken, to assess adherence to local and national guidelines, in an NHS trust. Ninety-nine casenotes were reviewed over 1 year. Data on complications were collected. Compliance to local guidelines was 44% and to national guidelines was 22%. Complication rate was 23% in guideline compliant patients and 55% in non-compliant patients (P<0.005). Guidelines are difficult to follow in practice. Total adherence to guidelines would reduce waiting lists and complications, but some needy patients could be denied treatment. In practice, rigid adherence to guidelines is not possible.


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      Process of assessment of health needs, buying services to meet those needs, and a range of strategic efforts to improve health
      Commissioning body
      A body within the NHS structure which holds funding, and can ‘buy’ services from providers. e.g. Primary Care Trust (regional), Practice-based Commissioner (local)
      Service which provides healthcare such as NHS Trusts, private hospitals.