How Much Do The Most Common NHS Procedures Cost?

cost nhs procedure national health services costs

There’s no denying that the words ‘money’ and ‘the National Health Service’ together are somewhat of a worry for the United Kingdom. From concerns about the service failing to the whole thing being privatized, it’s undoubtedly a subject that the Brits keep a close eye on. 

British news broadcaster, Sky News, reported that there are one million patients treated by the NHS every 36 hours. To put that into perspective, that’s 89 million outpatients annually! Of these outpatients though, what are the most common procedures, and at what cost do such procedures come to for the NHS? In this article, we explore further into National Health Service costs.

nhs procedure costs uk national health service expense surgery cost

Diagnostic Testing & Rehabilitation 

Example procedures in this category: Diagnostic imaging, diagnostic tests on skin, rehabilitation for musculoskeletal disorders, rehabilitation for psychiatric disorders, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Diagnostic imaging of central nervous system. 

Cost: Complex CT scan — £137–£175. 

Obviously, trying to figure out what we’re up against is half the battle. The second-most common procedure covers scans and diagnostic testing, including the rehabilitation procedures in the aftermath. 

Eye 

Example procedures in this category: Correction of deformity of eyelid, extirpation of lesion of eyelid, operations on vitreous body, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Prosthesis of lens. 

Example cost: A complex lens procedure can cost the NHS as much as £2,548. 

The majority of eye procedures are carried out on 75-79 year olds, with most of these cases being to do with the anterior chamber of the eye and lens; prosthetic contact lenses for damaged eyes are the most common requirement. 

Female Genital Tract Associated with Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Puerperium 

Example procedures in this category: Elective caesarean delivery, forceps cephalic delivery, routine obstetric scan, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Normal delivery. 

Cost: A normal delivery costs the NHS £1,985–£2,100. 

The highest amount of procedures in this category were carried out on patients aged 30–34 — unsurprising, as ‘induction and delivery’ is one of the more common reasons. 

Lower Digestive Tract 

Example procedures in this category: Emergency excision of appendix, endoscopic extirpation of lesion of colon, destruction of haemorrhoid, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Diagnostic endoscopic examination of colon. 

Cost: Combined Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal Tract Diagnostic Endoscopic Procedures – £1,387–£2,203. 

With diseases of the digestive system being the number one primary diagnosis in 2017-2018, it’s not surprising that procedures involving the lower digestive tract ranked so highly. 

Miscellaneous Operations 

Example procedures in this category: Amputation, external resuscitation, cognitive behavioural therapy, delivery of chemotherapy for neoplasm, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Procurement of drugs for chemotherapy for neoplasm in Bands 6-10. 

Cost: Procurement of drugs for chemotherapy in Band 6–10 average cost — £543–£2,827. 

The top-most procedure category is also one of the broadest. Miscellaneous operations include a variety of procedures, such as amputation and drug therapy. 

Other Bones and Joints 

Example procedures in this category: Diagnostic puncture of bone, fusion of joint of toe, puncture of joint, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Total prosthetic replacement of knee joint using cement. 

Cost: Knee replacements cost the NHS around £6,500. 

From fractures to joint replacements, this category is quite self-explanatory. With 90,412 cases attributed to 7-74 year olds, it can be safely assumed the majority of these procedures are as a result of falls and injuries in older people, along with treatments for arthritis. 

Skin 

Example procedures in this category: Phototherapy to skin, punch biopsy of skin, opening of skin, suture of skin of head or neck, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Other excision of lesion of skin. 

Example cost: Minor skin procedures cost the NHS — £856–£3,192. 

Skin procedures, again, are most commonly needed by 70–74-year olds. 

Soft Tissue 

Example procedures in this category: Puncture of pleura, excision of ganglion, biopsy of muscle, operations on bursa, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Primary repair of inguinal hernia. 

Cost: Repairing a hernia costs the NHS around £2,281. 

Again, with 42,602 cases accounted for by 70–74 year olds, this age range is the most in-need of soft tissue procedures. This does seem to reflect the aging population of Britain, and with it, the increased pressure on NHS services. 

Upper Digestive Tract 

Example procedures in this category: Excision of oesophagus and stomach, artificial opening into the stomach, operations on ulcer of stomach, antireflux operations, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Diagnostic fibreoptic endoscopic examination of upper gastrointestinal tract. 

Cost: Diagnostic Endoscopic Examination of Upper Gastrointestinal Tract comes to around £426-£2,630, depending on the complexity. 

As with lower digestive tract procedures, it makes sense that upper digestive tract procedures have followed closely behind. 

Urinary 

Example procedures in this category: Extracorporeal fragmentation of calculus of kidney, open drainage of bladder, operations on bladder, etc. 

Most common procedure in this category: Urethral catheterisation of bladder. 

Cost: Intermediate bladder procedures can cost the NHS around £1,616. 

Again, the age group 70–74 makes up the majority of these procedure requirements. 

Article brought to you by Fulcare, Butterfly needle supplier.

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