NHS spending on knee and eye operations in Croydon has dropped while spending on "ineffective care" is up, a new report has claimed. Health statistics firm Dr Foster says that, over a three year period, there has been increasing rates of "potentially ineffective procedures" and also of patients with long term conditions attending hospital. Official data for 2009/10 to 2012/13 shows health commissioners performed worse than expected in "avoidable" admissions, such as urinary tract infections in over 75s and diabetes. Overall Dr Foster's data shows the number of avoidable emergency admissions to Croydon University Hospital increased 81 per cent in ten years, from 2,982 in 2002 to 5,402 in 2012. In recent years the number of knee replacements and cataracts operations has fallen. Hip operations dropped between 2008 and 2011, but increased the following year. Dr Foster rates Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) performance as "poor", but, as the GP organisation pointed out today (Friday), the figures used relate to before it replaced the primary care trust NHS Croydon in April this year. Dr Tony Brzezicki, chair of Croydon CCG, said: "Unfortunately, this company is not being entirely clear about the fact that their data is a year old. "This is before the CCG took over responsibility for buying these services in Croydon and does not reflect the current situation. "The issues raised are important and we have been addressing them since taking charge of NHS budgets last April. "We hope the conclusions of this report don't mislead people when, in fact, we are making very good progress improving quality, addressing ineffective procedures and reducing unnecessary admissions for patients with long term conditions." This week the CCG launched a major advertising campaign to highlight alternatives to going to A&E when ill, including visiting a pharmacy, seeing your GP or using one of the borough's two minor injuries units. Dr Foster uses the official data for its annual hospital guide. Roger Taylor, director of research, said: "We have highlighted these figures to GPs so that throughout this period of austerity money can be spent wisely providing care for people that need it. "Across England as a whole, austerity has caused the NHS to be more careful about the way it spends money on planned care and to cut waste. "But there are significant differences in how well commissioners are coping with the financial squeeze. "The quality of the service you can expect to get from the NHS will increasingly be affected by how well your local commissioners manage their budgets." Wigan, West London, East Lincolnshire and Cornwall were among the areas highlighted as managing austerity well.
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