A man with type 2 diabetes has gone to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to reverse a decision by his local NHS to refuse him a gastric bypass operation. Thomas Condliff, who has been refused the surgery on the NHS because he does not meet criteria for the surgery, was originally refused funding because his body mass index (BMI) was under the threshold of his local primary care trust.
Mr Condliff, who weighs 22 stone and has already lost his sight in one eye and has kidney problems associated with his diabetes, has a BMI of around 43; however, the threshold for weight-loss surgery in North Staffordshire is usually for those with a BMI of over 50.
He is arguing against the decisio, claiming that the effect of his condition on his life and that of his family should be taken into account in in the funding decision. Mr Condliff has said that even a strict diet has failed to help him lose weight, and that he has “been given about a year to live by one of the specialists. I feel more and more poorly each day, my diabetes is way out of control.”
The Court of Appeal will assess if Mr Condliff’s personal circumstances should influence a decision made by the NHS on the funding of treatment, or should be based on only medical factors, normally the case for NHS North Staffordshire.
Mr Condliff’s plight highlights how funding for weight-loss surgery can vary across the NHS in England and Wales, as guidelines suggest that those patients with a BMI of over 40, or lower if they have other serious medical problems, should be considered.

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