62 year old Tom Condliff became obese after the cocktail of drugs taken to treat his long term diabetes made him pile on the pounds.
After a multitude of unsuccessful endeavours to lose weight by other means, Mr Condliff eventually applied for a gastric bypass operation but was later told he did not qualify for treatment because his body mass index of 43 was not enough under his North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust’s rules.
NHS guidelines in England and Wales recommend that patients be considered for surgery if they have a BMI of over 40, or lower if they are affected by other serious medical conditions.
However, in North Staffordshire only patients with a body mass index above 50 qualify for weight loss surgery and thus Mr Condliff was turned away.
Mr Condliff appealed his Primary Care Trusts decision, claiming that he would die without the operation and that his human rights has been breached.
On Wednesday, Mr Condliff’s solicitor said that this was his clients only opportunity to lose weight.
“It is the only treatment that’s going to help his type 2 diabetes, and in about 90% of cases, this operation does in fact cure type 2 diabetes.
“You know, his doctors are very confident that it is all diabetes related, he’s on a very severely restricted calorie count of 400 to 500 calories a day, so it’s not overeating.” He said.
Mr Condliff currently suffers from 13 illness and take 28 different types of drugs as well as using inhalers and breathing masks. As it stands the annual cost of his treatment is an estimated £30,000, which is considerably more than the cost of a gastric bypass operation at £5,500.
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