A blood clot survivor claims the Government could wipe £200 million off the NHS bill if it tackled the condition that almost killed him.
Paul Westerman spoke out just days before The Budget when Chancellor Philip Hammond is likely to divulge plans to provide the healthcare service with a £20bn boost by 2023 – a suggestion mooted by the prime minister earlier this year.
The 51-year-old, a former trustee of Thrombosis UK and an appointed member of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in its examination of thromboembolic diseases, is pushing for the Government to review the cost of treatment for pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – both of which can be easily prevented.
“Treating these conditions costs the NHS around £200 million every single year,” he said. “DVT and PE are preventable conditions and by reviewing the current situation, backing vital research and product development, and looking into raising awareness, the Government can help save lives while looking at saving that money and reinvesting it into the service we all hold dear.”
According to Thrombosis UK, blood clots kill more people each year than AIDS, breast cancer, prostate cancer and motor vehicle crashes combined.
It is also estimated that up to 60% of cases in the UK occur during or after hospitalisation, making it the leading preventable cause of hospital deaths.
Paul almost died when a DVT he sustained in his lower limb after a tennis injury travelled through his heart to his lungs, causing a massive PE.
Since his illness he has founded RBR Active and the company is currently in the clinical trials stage of developing a ground-breaking product with medical backing which could drastically reduce the instances of DVT.
He added: “We all know the NHS is struggling and we have all been waiting a long time to find out how this Government intends to support it going forward.
“The Budget on Monday is likely to be an opportunity for the chancellor to showcase his ideas for making a lump sum available to support it.
“However, as with any Government funding, you rob Peter to pay Paul. To find money for one area means cutting the budget somewhere else or raising taxes.
“By tackling conditions like DVT you can shave off a huge amount of unnecessary expenditure and therefore prevent money being taken from other services.”