Shropshire man upset over gastric op refusal

A Shropshire man who said he was referred by a GP for an operation to help him lose weight has been turned down by a primary care trust.

Dwain Smith from Market Drayton said a doctor told him "he could be dead in the next two to three years" if he did not have gastric surgery.

Mr Smith, 20, said he was told he needed to lose 17 stone (108 kg).

Shropshire County Primary Care Trust said its weight loss services were a priority which were being reassessed.

Mr Smith did not say how much he weighed but said doctors had told him he "couldn't lose the amount of weight that I have to lose naturally".

He said he had four hospital consultations to discuss gastric band or gastric bypass surgery after being referred by a GP late last year.

'Under review'

"Then I got a letter on 6 July saying that there was no funding in Shropshire," he added.

The trust's letter said it was "not currently funding any new patients for weight loss surgery".

Mr Smith said: "I know its my own fault for eating the way I have."

"Over the years I've been depressed and I've just eaten to help the depression."

He said he would need to find around £7,000 to have the procedure carried out privately.

Shropshire County Primary Care Trust said it had "a small budget of circa £110,000 per annum for specialist obesity services".

It added: "A decision was made by the PCT board in July 2009 to fund a number of patients treatment to whom a commitment had been made."

It said since then, 76 patients had been referred for specialist treatment.

"The decision is constantly under review and forms part of the annual prioritisation process that the PCT has to undertake to balance the services commissioned against the financial resources available.

"Specialist bariatric (weight loss) services remain a high priority within the PCT and will be reassessed as part of this year's prioritisation process."

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