I recently submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request to every primary care trust, to ascertain whether they funded laser tattoo removal procedures, and if so how much it had cost.
BROKE NHS trusts have blown £203,499 on tattoo removals in four years, figures reveal.
The astounding sum has been condemned by MPs as the NHS buckles under financial pressure.
But the cost of getting rid of unwanted body art is probably much HIGHER — as 56 of 144 trusts refused to hand over figures following a Freedom of Information request.
Of the 88 trusts who replied, half admitted to funding laser removals. North Lancashire was the worst offender, splashing out a whopping £139,828. Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside spent £28,515. To get a tattoo removed on the NHS, patients needs to prove to a psychologist they are being caused distress.
Tory MP Chris Skidmore, who uncovered the figures, said: “This is unacceptable. Every pound could have been better spent on patients elsewhere.” The TaxPayers’ Alliance added: “Body art is a personal choice. If people have second thoughts they should pay to have it removed themselves.”
Many trusts do not fund the procedure at all- as it is rightly not considered to be a vital medical concern. I firmly believe that we should expect people to take responsibility for their own actions, rather than using NHS funds to pay for cosmetic procedures.