No guarantee of surgery if weight gain bid succeeds

Darin McCloud with letters he's received from the NHS Trust
Darin McCloud with letters he's received from the NHS Trust

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A 20-STONE man who is piling on the pounds to qualify for weight-loss surgery may still not get the operation even if he hits the target weight.

Diabetic Darin McCloud is gorging on food to get to 21st to qualify for a gastric bypass operation, as revealed in The News.

But the NHS has said even if 45-year-old reaches the weight, there’s no guarantee he will get the procedure.

Mr McCloud is hoping to eat himself to a BMI – a measure of body fat based on height and weight – of 45, to become eligible.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, NHS Portsmouth’s director of public health and primary care, said Mr McCloud should try to lose weight instead of putting it on.

He said: ‘There’s absolutely no guarantee he will get the surgery even if he reaches a BMI of 45. He will still need to go through a series of assessments and even then could be told no. The BMI criteria is a trigger point at which a GP will consider surgery an option.

‘But the GP would then need to sit down with the patient to look at risk factors such as diabetes, being overweight, possible complications and see if the patient is psychologically prepared for surgery.

‘Then the GP will decide whether or not to refer it to the hospital. A consultant at the hospital will go through the patient’s case and may ask for advice from colleagues such as a diabetes specialist.’

He added: ‘Surgery should always be a last resort.

‘This man just needs to lose weight and unless you’ve got one of the very rare glandular diseases, there’s no reason you cannot lose weight.

‘We have weight management programmes in place to try to help people.’

Mr McCloud says he knows hitting a BMI of 45 will not guarantee him the operation, but added: ‘I know things need to be done after but I would be devastated if I was refused.’

The News broke Mr McCloud’s story on Wednesday. Since then it has received national coverage and people all over the country have debated the issue.

Mr McCloud said: ‘I can’t believe the reaction I’ve had to my story in The News. I’ve been on national television and some of the papers too, so I’m trying to get my head around it all.

‘I haven’t had any comments said to my face about it all yet, but I have read people’s opinions online and they are what I thought it would be like. People think I’m just a fat, lazy person, who just sits at home all day and eats. But I’m not. I have a job and earn money, and I’m asking for the surgery because I’m entitled to it.’