SOME services, including infertility treatment, could be slashed for residents in the Basildon area in a bid to save money.

NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions health services for patients, is facing a deficit of £14million.

In order to save money, it is looking at cutting the services it provides for residents.

It is looking to withdraw funding to a range of services, including male and female sterilisation, NHS prescriptions of gluten-free food to over 18s except pregnant women, specialist fertility services, e-cigarettes and weight loss surgery.

Cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction and breast enlargements or reductions, a type of lens implant for astigmatism, simultaneous joint replacements and some pain relief procedures are also under threat.

John Leslie, the commissioning group’s accountable officer, said: “We have a legal duty to live within our means, but we are facing a growing gap between how much we receive for local health services each year and how much it is costing.

“This matters because if we don’t take measures to bring our finances under control, our deficit will continue to grow and we will end up having to make reductions in a greater range of services than we are currently proposing.

“With this in mind, we are putting forward a set of proposals to introduce tighter restrictions on a number of treatments and procedures offered to people in Basildon and Brentwood.

“We believe these proposed measures represent a way to help us make important savings while having the lowest possible impact on patient care.”

There are also plans to move elderly people, out of hospitals and into the community to free up bed spaces in hospitals.

A consultation event for patients to give feedback on the plans will be held on July 19 from 6pm until 8pm at Pitsea Leisure Centre, Northlands Pavement, Pitsea. July 28 from 6pm until 8pm at Brentwood Community Hospital, Crescent Drive, August 12 from 10am until 12 noon at Wickford Health Centre, Market Road and August 26 from 10am until 12 noon at Emmanuel Church Hall, Laindon Road, Billericay.