"Delay to bariatric surgery caused by NHS contracts"

About: Bmi - The Clementine Churchill Hospital NHS England NHS Harrow CCG

(as the patient),

I am awaiting a gastric bypass. I was referred to the BMI-Loss team based at the Clementine Hospital in Harrow. I have seen the surgeon, and he said to me that I am a good candidate for surgery, as I had a BMI of 50 and suffered mental health conditions.

I suffer very bad depression bouts and am also bi polar. I was put onto the T3 program which I adhered to (by seeing a dietitian for advice for six months) and I lost about 15 kg over that time. I also saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist, both of which said that I was ok for surgery.

As far as I was concerned I was awaiting a further visit to see someone in April, so when an appointment did not arrive my wife made a call to the hospital. She was told that all of the BMI-Loss staff were in a financial meeting about NHS operations, and I would be receiving a letter the next day.

The letter stated that BMI-Loss can not provide surgery at the moment because of a contract not being signed with NHS England. This letter was not even signed by anyone. I called to try and find out if anything had changed, and was told that I should try another provider as they did not know when the contract would be signed. I asked what would happen if I moved to another provider. They stated that they think I would have to go back to the start of the T 3 Program again, and go through the same 6 months that I already have done to show my commitment to wanting to keep to my part of the surgery.

As you may understand, this sent me into a very bad depressive state, I did not leave the house for 6 days I was so bad. I find this is total unacceptable. I have done all that is expected of me to qualify for this surgery, so that I will have a better quality of life. Also both of my knees are totally warn out and need replacing. Having seen a surgeon for this operation, I was told that at my current weight I would not qualify to have my knees replaced. So I made the commitment to lose weight and have had the weight loss surgery pulled from under me.

I have contacted NHS England to make a complaint and was told that this was a local problem and I should contact my local health authority. This I did and spoke to a very nice person who said that it was not their problem and that I should send this direct to NHS England. I have also asked my Doctor to investigate what has happened here and also my local councillor has written to BMI Loss to find out what is going on.

Please can you get me some answers as I am suffering with my depression so badly.

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Response from BMI Healthcare Ltd

We are sorry to hear that you are having difficulty progressing your treatment. Unfortunately we are unable to provide such surgery to NHS patients as NHS England has not currently contracted us to do so. We are pleased to see that you have contacted the correct people, and especially that you have been in touch with your GP who will be able to help you further.

We hope that you will be able to access the right treatment soon.

Kind regards

BMI Healthcare.

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Update posted by Bizzie1956 (the patient)

All you seem to be doing is passing the buck whilst im left in limbo not knowing when im getting my surgery!!!!

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