Getting fit for surgery


Between October 2017 – January 2018, we consulted on proposals to support  patients who smoke or have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above (an obese body weight) to try and stop smoking and/or lose weight before non-urgent operations.

Thank you again to everyone who took part in our consultation. To find out what people told us, please see the consultation summary below.

Plans for the scheme will be finalised by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Board on 29 March 2018. Find out more below.

In November 2017, we introduced a scheme to ask patients who smoke or have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above (an obese body weight) to try to stop smoking and/or lose weight for up to three months before they are referred for non-urgent hip and knee operations.

We are now proposing to introduce this scheme for other types of non-urgent surgery and consulted with the public from October 2017 – January 2018 to find out what people think of our plans. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their views with us.

What the public told us

We have now reviewed all of the feedback we received. To find out what people told us, please read our consultation summary or full consultation report on the right hand side of this page.

Please note, this information can all be made available in a range of languages, large print, Braille, or on CD/tape. To request an alternative format, please email or call 01225 831 800.

What happens next?

A summary of the public’s feedback has been included in a report, with recommendations for how the scheme could work, and this is being presented to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Board for approval on Thursday 29 March 2018. To read the recommendations report, please download it from the right hand side of this page.

This meeting will be in public and will take place from 11am-12.30pm at Somerdale Pavilion, Tiberius Road, Keynsham, BS31 2FF. Please see more information about the meeting here.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and observe. People can submit questions in advance by emailing or calling 01225 831 800.

Details of the finalised plan for the scheme will be published on our website and shared widely to ensure that everyone who took part in the consultation can find out how the CCG has responded.


Patients who have a healthier lifestyle have a reduced risk of complications during and after their operation, recover more quickly and experience long-term health benefits.

Research shows:

  • Smokers are 38 per cent more likely to die following surgery than people who have never smoked.
  • Patients who are classed as having an obese body weight, are at increased risk of infection after surgery or of developing breathing problems during operations.

As an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), we have a responsibility to support everyone to make healthier lifestyle choices and to prevent people from becoming ill. One of the ways to improve health and wellbeing across Bath and North East Somerset is to increase the number of people accessing services to help them stop smoking, lose weight and stay healthy.

Being referred for surgery can often be a time when people become very aware of their health and how their lifestyles can affect it. By introducing such a scheme, we are proposing to support patients in making changes that will bring long-term benefits, often far greater than those of the operation itself. For example, stopping smoking and losing weight reduce the risk of someone developing heart disease and cancer.

Losing weight can also have the added benefit of reducing the need for surgery, if a person sees such an improvement that they decide they no longer need an operation.

Support that is available

We know it can be very difficult to quit smoking and lose weight, and there are resources and advice available to help patients work towards their goals. Please see our factsheets on support that is available to help people lose weight and stop smoking.

For more information, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).