'Treatment for dementia, arthritis and blindness could be subject to deeper rationing, with “tough decisions and trade-offs” ahead, health chiefs have signalled.
NHS England said “affordability assessments” should be made of future recommendations by rationing bodies, to decide what the health service can afford to treat.
Its board yesterday forecast that waiting times for planned operations will rise, as they attempt to protect funding for cancer services, GPs and mental health.
Health officials said that waiting times standards, which set out limits of 18 weeks, will not be met next year, according to their forecasts.
But Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night hit back, insisting the targets will be met, and promising “sensible” discussions about the best way forward.
Under new proposals from NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) will be asked to publish “affordability and workforce assessments” of future recommendations on treatments, so the NHS can work out what it can pay for.'
Read more: Treatment for dementia, arthritis and blindness could be further rationed, health chiefs signal
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