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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2005, 11:28 GMT
Plastic surgery discount to staff
Silicone implant
Breast implants are among the procedures health staff can have
An NHS trust has defended a decision to offer health service staff a 10% discount on all cosmetic surgery.

The Oxford Radcliffe Health Trust said the profits from the private operations would go back into NHS services.

But Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said the offer was "bizarre".

Nurse Barbara Cripps, who wants surgery on her eyelids, said it was "nice that the NHS can show some appreciation and give me a little perk like this".

Dr Harris, a former hospital doctor, said: "NHS staff do need rewards, but to direct rewards only to those staff who consider their breasts too large or too small or their eyelids needing doing seems to be a very unfair way of rewarding just a few of them.

"It's completely peculiar. If the trust wants to show appreciation then it can do it in other ways rather than offering something that in any event the NHS doesn't offer. "

'Modern living'

Richard Jones, from the trust, said: "All the services we provide for private patients are over and above the ever-increasing NHS work that we do.

"So not only are the staff facilities all paid for from the private fees, but the surplus is ploughed back into our services.

"Some people may find the idea of cosmetic surgery a bit strange, but it's a fact of modern living."

Ms Cripps, said: "I'm going to have my upper eyelids operated on, because I've got some excess skin on the upper eyelids, something that I've always wanted to have done.

"The cost is likely to be anything up to about 2,000 normally, but with the 10% saving that could save me 200.

"I think it's quite nice, really, because I've worked in the NHS for 30 years now, and it's quite nice that the NHS can show some appreciation and give me a little perk like this."

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