I blame the NHS!!

Sarah - posted on 01/07/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

A man who once weighed nearly 70 stone is to launch legal action against the NHS, claiming they failed to help him as his size soared.
Former postman Paul Mason received life-saving gastric surgery last year binge-eating his way to gargantuan size.
But the 50-year-old, who now weighs in at a comparatively small 37 stone, said he should have been helped years ago.

Mr Mason, who was eating 20,000 calories a day at his heaviest, claims he sought help from his GP after ballooning to 30 stone.
Instead of receiving a treatment programme to manage his weight, he has complained he was told in 1996: 'Ride your bike more'.


The rest of the article is worth a read.

What do you think? Does he have a point? Is the NHS to blame?

I think it's NOT the fault of the NHS.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tracey - posted on 01/07/2011

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He could not see an NHS (free) psychiatrist on his own, his GP would need to refer him, however he could see a private one at any time as long as he paid.

There are weight loss drugs available from the pharmacist which you don't need a prescription for., slimming clubs with exercise classes that tell you what food to eat that cost a few pounds a week.

And any patient has the right to a second opinion or to change doctors if they are unhappy with their medical advice - you don't have to give a reason and it doesn't cost anything.

I find it difficult to believe the only advice he was given was to get on his bike, When my husband was diagnosed he was offered a dietician, counselling, weight loss drugs and reduced price gym / swimming sessions - and he didn't weigh anything like this man.

There was another man on the UK news last night who lost over 12 stone in a year by giving up fast food and going to a slimming class.

Jenn - posted on 01/09/2011

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Yes, she's been tested and she does not have thyroid issues. She was raised in a family that fed her to shut her up, then turned around and teased her because of her size, so she ate more to comfort herself and would sneak food. As she got a bit older (say 10 or 11) her parents would party a lot, and some of their "friends" would make very inappropriate comments to her, which also made her eat more for more comfort. She binges, and has occasionally purged, she hides food, etc. She is also bi-polar and takes medication for it and goes to counselling. She also goes to OEA meetings sometimes. She has recognized the what's and the why's, she just can't find the strength to change and finally got the courage to ask for more help, only to have them say no, and she simply cannot afford to pay for it.

To put this in perspective for some of you - what if this man was a skeleton of a man because he was anorexic, and his Doctor's advice was to eat more but he didn't listen. Would you then think the Dr's were more at fault and should have done more to help? It's no different. Telling someone of that size, who so clearly has an eating disorder, to exercise more and eat less is just as pathetic really. I'm pretty sure he knew that's what he was supposed to do, just like an anorexic knows that they are supposed to eat food - but it's an out of control eating disorder beyond their own control at that point.

Becky - posted on 01/07/2011

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Well, first off, did they really have to post a picture of him naked? Ewwww!
No, I don't think the NHS is to blame. Not to the extent that they should be legally liable anyway. If he is being completely honest - and there are always 2 sides to every story - then yes, his doctor should have worked more with him to help him lose weight. But he also could have taken more initiative to help himself. The article doesn't say (unless I missed it) whether he had a health condition that caused him to gain unreasonable amounts of weight. If not, then he allowed himself to get that way. He could have sought help on his own when his dr. wasn't helpful.
Sorry if my post isn't particularly intellegent. It's late!

Jenn - posted on 01/07/2011

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You know what's interesting? My Mum is obese and has been for almost her whole life (even as a child she was quite overweight). She went to her Dr recently to ask about some sort of rehab type of treatment, but it's not covered. If she was starving herself, it would be. Why is one eating disorder viewed as more important than another? Anyway, to answer the question, I don't know that his case will hold up in court, but his Dr that gave him that crap "advice" should be further investigated.

Nicole - posted on 01/07/2011

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He had an eating disorder, and he wasn't given the help he requested. He should have advocated for himself and got himself the help he needed.

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[deleted account]

Jenn, yes if he was simply told to not eat as much and was offered no help that would be unacceptable, but he was given a referal to a dietrician, who he chose to ignore, and he was told to exercise more, I highly doubt he was just told ride your bike more, people do omit facts in order to make things seem worse, it is a psychological problem but he still chose to ignore the advice given to help him lose weight. He was also given a gastric bypass surgery to help him, that is why he has lost weight now, so he was just completely ignored - anorexics have to have dangerously low body weights before doctors sit up and actually pay attention this is no different.

The responsibility of the NHS and doctors can only go so far, they cannot control what he feeds himself or what others feed him they can only offer him advice as to the best way forward, he lost 20st in 2006 but put it all back on, he knew that in order to maintain his weight loss he needed to avoid certain foods but he didn't. He has been given support, from earlier articles he demonstrates he isn't overly shy, for instance in 2007 he complained to his local council that his specially adapted 3ft wheelchair would not fit through his local park gates, so if he can complain to the council about that he would have no problem being able to request to see a different doctor or to see a specialist or whatever he felt he needed. I think he is pulling a fast one because somebody has made him think he can win it.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/new...

Tracey - posted on 01/09/2011

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He was told to exercise and ignored the advice. Why waste more health service (taxpayers) money on a man who wont listen or do anything to help himself?

Jenn, if your mum has been like this all her life has she had blood tests for thyroid problems, there could be an underlying health condition for her weight?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/07/2011

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I didn't read the article yet, but at 900+ lbs, you are pretty much bed ridden right? Who was feeding him all this shit?

Kate CP - posted on 01/07/2011

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Blaming other people because YOU can't put down the goddamn fork is just cowardly and well...lazy. He obviously has mental issues and wants to blame some one other than himself for getting so big. Unless he was being force fed by the doctors and the NHS I seriously doubt it was THEIR fault.

[deleted account]

20,000 calories a day?! What, were they force feeding him? If not, then it's not their fault. Take some personal responsibility.

Becky - posted on 01/07/2011

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Okay, I had to do the conversion because I was curious how much that was. Holy crap! That's 980 lbs!!! He literally almost weighed a ton!
I do believe that you would have to have some type of eating disorder or mental or physical health issue to allow yourself to get to that point. He should have been referred to or strongly encouraged to go to a counselor or treatment program. But again, he also could have taken the initiative to do that himself, or pushed his doctor harder to get him into one.

[deleted account]

You know, I'm honestly torn on this. I can certainly empathize with eating disorders; he claims to have been an emotional binge eater. The dietitian could have referred him to a mental specialist of he was unable to follow the diet prescribed, but from the article, it sounds as though he didn't even give the dietitian a chance, which I find to be his own fault. It also does not say whether he gave exercise a chance at all. He first sought help at 30 stone. At that weight, he could still go for daily walks and use standard gym equipment, if he didn't then at least that much is his own fault as well.

If he sues, I do not think he should be awarded any monetary reward, or to foot bills for gastric bypass surgery for other obese patients (really, patients should be helped before they get to the point of needing bypass). Perhaps sue for a policy to make it easier to access mental care for eating disorders within the NHS.

That said, I don't know exactly how the NHS works. Could he not just go to a psychiatrist on his own?

Tracey - posted on 01/07/2011

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Eat healthy & exercise more in most people without an underlying medical condition = weight loss.
What was the NHS meant to do, buy his food, prepare his meals and find an exercise bike to support his massive weight?
My husband was diagnosed diabetic last summer and has lost over 5 stone (70lbs) since May by eating sensibly and joining a gym.
How much money does 20,000 calories a day cost? He must be spending a fortune on food.

[deleted account]

The NHS is not to blame, he is. He went to his doctor at 30 stone and yes was told to ride his bike more - he could have listened and done a little more exercise rather than just shrug it off. He was sent to a dietrician by his doctor, ok not a eating disorder specialist but the dietrician could help him, if he took the advice.There is only so much the professionals can do at the end of the day you have to help yourself - listen to the advice you are being given and follow it.

Nobody can give you the will power to change except yourself, losing weight isn't easy for most people but most of us manage it quite successfully, the NHS now pays for people to attend weight watchers or slimming world if your BMI is over a certain number, he definately would still at 37 stones qualify for it, there is a lot that can be done.

Also as Cathy has said IF he wasn't happy with his first response from the doctor he should have sought a second or third opinion, it would cost him nothing but a little time!

Nikki - posted on 01/07/2011

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Wow that's gross, what is that between his legs, his thigh or stomach, and I was just about to have dinner!

I think legal action is a little drastic, but I do think that doctors have a duty of care to help patients in his situation, not just brush them off. Obviously riding a bike is not an option for someone that big, it's pretty unprofessional advice. He obviously has an addiction to food, they should have looked into options sooner than they did.

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