Warrington and Halton Hospital stops charging for ‘low clinical priority’ NHS operations

The suspended service included £2368 cataract operations, £7719 hernia operations and hip and knee replacements with a price tag of up to £18,143

The MP for Warrington South has welcomed a decision by Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust to suspend its My Choice service which charges for ‘low clinical priority’ NHS operations.

A price list of procedures covered by the service included £2368 for cataract operations, £7719 for hernia operations and hip and knee replacements with a price tag of up to £18,143.

A description published on the trust’s website before the service was suspended stated that My Choice patients are treated as part of the trust’s normal elective programme.

“There are no special privileges and they simply occupy a slot on a scheduled list.

There are no private rooms and they will join the same waiting list as NHS patients,” the post explained.

“The major benefit is access to outstanding NHS treatments at a fraction of the cost of those undertaken by private providers,” the statement noted.

An update published on the trust’s website on 20 June stated that the service would be paused while a review was carried out to ensure “it can in no way disadvantage NHS patients.”

In a blog post, Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid highlighted his view that underfunding of the NHS is forcing trusts to set up services like My Choice.  

“Vulnerable people are soon going to be backed into a corner and forced to pay to be able to live well. We cannot let this happen, everyone should be entitled to live a healthy life, not just those who can afford treatment,” he said.

Image credit: Pixabay