Help shape NHS cosmetic surgery

Help shape NHS cosmetic surgery

2nd April 2014

Local NHS leaders would like your help in deciding which changes to make to their policy on funding cosmetic surgery.

The public image of ‘plastic surgery’ has been shaped by media coverage of private surgeons enhancing people’s body image. However, some cosmetic surgery is available to NHS patients, but only if there is compelling clinical evidence for it.

The East Midlands Cosmetic Procedures Policy details the cosmetic surgery that is not normally publically funded and the procedures that are only funded when certain criteria are met. The criteria are based on clinical evidence, expert opinion and value for money.

All NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the East Midlands, including those in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, are now working together to review the 2011 East Midlands Cosmetic Procedures Policy, and want people’s opinions on whether the proposed changes are reasonable and fair.

The region’s NHS clinical commissioning groups agree that, in general, cosmetic procedures have relatively small health benefits compared to many other forms of healthcare.

Changes are being proposed to policies for cosmetic surgery to treat certain conditions of the nose, earlobes, both men’s and women’s genitals and breasts, including dealing with female breast implant problems. The policy also makes it clear that hair transplants to correct baldness will not be routinely funded on the NHS.

Jonathan Gribbin, consultant in public health in Nottingham, who has been working on the policy review, said: “We are making very few changes to the existing policy, but we are asking ‘are our policies reasonable and fair?’ That’s what it’s really about, and we would welcome your views on the proposed changes by completing a short questionnaire. You do not need to have undergone – or be applying for – cosmetic surgery to take part in this survey. Everyone’s comments count.”

 The cosmetic procedures questionnaire can be completed online at or you can phone for a paper copy by calling 0116 295 4183. The survey lasts until 9am on 17 April 2014.