Smokers in Yorkshire, England, are facing pressure to give up their habit before undergoing routine surgery, according to a story in the Yorkshire Post.
The Stop Before Your Op program is being introduced in the Vale of York in the first part of a campaign by the local NHS (National Health Service) to tackle problems caused by tobacco and alcohol use, and obesity.
Smokers will be urged to attend an NHS course to help them quit before going under the knife in routine operations, leaving them facing a minimum 12-week delay before they are referred for surgery.
Doctors’ leaders say patients will not be denied surgery if they refuse but will be asked to sign waivers saying they “accept responsibility for any additional detriment to their health including complications arising from surgery or anesthesia attributed to their smoking.”
GPs say they are monitoring outcomes from smokers referred for help to quit services so as to be able to assess the success of the venture.
They claim already that there are significant benefits to be had from giving up smoking prior to surgery, among them reducing the risk of complications and improving post-operative recovery.
They claim the measure could also lead to savings for the NHS by reducing demand for intensive care, reducing readmissions for further treatment and relieving pressure on hospital beds.
Category: Breaking News