08:45 GMT +315 November 2019
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    UK Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he makes a speech about NHS reforms at University College Hospital in London, Tuesday, June, 7, 2011.

    NHS wastes £2 billion a year on unnecessary diagnosis and treatment

    © AP Photo / Alastair Grant
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    Unnecessary or expensive treatments are costing the NHS up to £2 billion a year with overdiagnosis and overtreatment some of the key problems, Britain's leading medical body has warned.

    In a report released today by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), the NHS was accused of putting patients' lives at risk by taking too many precautions, such as giving too many drugs or premature x-rays when they are not needed.

    The report argues that unnecessary time spent with patients is taking away doctors from other patients who need treatment or medical attention.

    The findings also accused patients of being too demanding, noting that pressure from people who want immediate attention can lead to unnecessary treatment and diagnosis for certain conditions.

    The year-long study concluded that £2.3 billion was wasted every year through unnecessary actions and called on medical staff to make more careful recommendations when admitting patients for treatment.

    The report suggests that a change in culture, with doctors encouraged to make rational, responsible savings could slash billions from NHS costs.

    This comes as the NHS continues a series of belt-tightening measures associated with austerity to keep costs down.

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