Stoke & Staffordshire

Obesity surgery bid man Tom Condliff can challenge NHS

Tom Condliff
Image caption Mr Condliff said his obesity was due to the cocktail of drugs that he takes

A grandfather who was refused obesity surgery on the NHS has won the right to an appeal, in a test case.

Tom Condliff, 62, from Staffordshire, claims his human rights were breached in the way the NHS refused him surgery.

Mr Condliff, of Talke, suffers from 13 illnesses and takes 28 drugs. He said the drugs had caused his obesity.

NHS North Staffordshire successfully defended its case that his human rights had not been breached. But an appeal has now been allowed, his lawyer said.

Public interest

The trust successfully argued his human rights had not been breached under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act in a judicial review in Manchester and on appeal in London.

Mr Condliff's solicitor Oliver Wright said Lady Justice Mary Arden had allowed an appeal both on grounds of merit and public interest.

Mr Wright said: "The case will be set down for a day-and-a-half before three Court of Appeal judges.

"This decision is important for everyone going through the commissioning process."

Mr Condliff said his obesity was due to the cocktail of drugs that he takes and not overeating.

The 62-year-old, who is diabetic, has become resistant to insulin and is extremely ill, according to evidence from doctors at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

He said: "Reading that I have only got a year to live was not very pleasant.

Body mass index

"It has been a depressing time and I am not feeling as good as I was. This has really picked me up."

The appeal is likely to be heard before the end of July because of Mr Condliff's poor health.

NHS North Staffordshire has a policy that patients have to have a body mass index of 50 to qualify for obesity reduction surgery.

Mr Condliff would qualify if he lived in Stoke-on-Trent's catchment area.

NHS trust papers showed NHS North Staffordshire agreed to eight out of 163 requests for exceptional NHS treatment last year under the individual funding request system.

Stoke-on-Trent PCT allowed 96 out of 186 individual funding requests.

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