Obese man loses court battle for NHS gastric op... but gets funding anyway

Staff - dailymail.co.uk - 08/16/2011
Body and Brain

A 22-stone man who took his local PCT to court after they refused to fund his gastric bypass, has been told he can have the surgery after all.

Tom Condliff's bid - funded by legal aid - to force his Trust into providing the operation was turned down by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

But one month after the Appeal Court ruling, NHS North Staffordshire said they had reconsidered his case and decided to fund his surgery anyway.

Victory: Tom Condliff said he was pleased by the PCT's change of decision but said he didn't know why he had been granted funding this time

Victory: Tom Condliff said he was pleased by the PCT's change of decision but said he didn't know why he had been granted funding this time

Mr Condliff has a body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) of 43. This is below the Trust's usual criteria of 50 for surgery, which was set to balance 'competing demands' on the Trust's budget.

But the Trust said it had agreed to a second 'individual funding request' filed on 10 August.

Mr Condliff told the BBC: 'I am very, very pleased about the PCT's decision but at the same time I am rather concerned that I haven't changed since the last time the request for IFR in September last year, was put in.

'It was turned down then. So I don't know why it has been granted this time.

'I am looking forward to being able to get out of the house and to enjoying myself and having a decent quality of life.'

The PCT turned down Mr Condliff's first request for the gastric operation in September last year.

The 62-year-old then became the first man in Britain to take legal action against his primary care trust under the Human Rights Act.

The former police officer argued officials hadn't taken the right to a family life had not been taken into account, when decided whether to fund the £5,500 operation.

His lawyer's also claimed that he had become obese because of a diabetes drug he was taking.

Doctors agree that the surgery could improve Mr Condliff's health. He has been diagnosed with 13 illnesses and has been prescribed 28 different drugs

In a statement, the PCT said: 'The request and the new supporting medical evidence was thoroughly examined by our clinically led panel and Mr Condliff's clinical circumstances were found to be exceptional as outlined in our policy.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2026585/ Obese-man-loses-court-battle-NHS-gastric-bypass-g ets-funding-anyway.html#ixzz1VCRXGwU0

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