The diabetic man trying to GAIN weight because he is not fat enough to qualify for a NHS gastric bypass
Even though the bureaucracy admits it would save them money to treat him
A 20-stone [280lb.] man is desperately trying to gain weight after doctors told him he was too light for weight-loss surgery. Diabetic Darin McCloud, 45, was denied a gastric bypass by his local NHS Trust in Portsmouth who will only consider him if he is 21 stone. Now he says he is determined to reach this weight to give him the chance to have the drastic and potentially risky surgery.
NHS Portsmouth only considers people for the operation if they have a body mass index – a measure based on height and weight – of 45 and a health problem such as diabetes. But Mr McCloud, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, was turned down for the surgery because at the time of applying he had a BMI of 40.
He is now eating three-quarters of a loaf of bread, four packets of crisps and bacon rolls every day to get bigger. Mr McCloud, who finds it impossible to go on a diet, said: ‘The reason why I want the operation is that it will help my diabetes. ‘It will help me stop being on insulin and help me with my other problems.
‘I have had diabetes for the best part of 15 years and I’m absolutely scared of being a burden on my family in the future – but I still eat, and that I can’t get my head around. ‘There is a switch somewhere, but I can’t turn it off. That is the crux of the matter and why I need help.’
Mr McCloud, who is 5ft 7in, applied for the operation in February 2009. Since then he has been trying to put on weight and has gained around a stone-and-a-half to reach a BMI of 43.5. According to WeightWatchers, the ideal top weight for a man of his size is 11st 6lbs [160lb.]
Dr Lorraine Albon, Mr McCloud’s diabetic consultant at Queen Alexandra Hospital, has backed his application for the surgery as she says it will help his diabetes. She said: ‘Darin has done everything he can do and the problem is if he doesn’t have the surgery soon he will lose his job and add further complications to his diabetes. ‘For someone like Darin it is delaying the inevitable. He would put the weight on slowly over time anyway.’
NHS Portsmouth currently has the same guidelines for weight-loss surgery as all other primary care trusts in the area, such as Southampton and Hampshire. But others across the UK – such as NHS West Sussex – have lower BMI thresholds, as each area can choose which criteria to adopt.
Local PCTs chose the BMI of 45 as they said evidence at the time showed it was most cost-effective. But NHS Portsmouth said it has taken note of recent recommendations and research which suggest it should lower the BMI – as it would save it money in the long term. It has now agreed to do this in principle, but the other trusts in the area also have to agree.
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, NHS Portsmouth’s director of public health and primary care, said the process could take some time and that the criteria were not likely to change until at least 2012/13. He said: ‘We acknowledge we should lower the BMI as it would potentially save us money.
‘Six or seven of the nine PCTs have got to agree this as well though and then a business plan would be drawn up, outlining how much this would cost. ‘I’m optimistic most PCTs would take the same view as us and we will look at developing a full business case next year to enable PCTs to take a decision on affordability.’
He added: ‘We would love to be able to afford everything but we can’t. ‘We have not got as much funding as in previous years and in fact the NHS as a whole is having to make efficiency savings now.’
“This rather odd little German dynasty”
That is the extraordinary description that Christopher Hitchens gives to the British Royal family. Clearly he retains a lot of hatred from his Leftist days. Sad that a man with only a little longer to live is trying his best to be remembered as a shrill abuser. Most of us mellow with age.
His rage arises from the success of the British movie, “The King’s Speech”. He resents that the movie is a feelgood story rather than meticulous history. He points out ways in which the movie glosses over the rough edges of the times it describes. Hitchens calumniates Edward VIII, George VI, Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain. His central point is that they were all nicer to Hitler than he, with the wisdom of hindsight, would have been.
Hitchens is of course partly right in that Edward VIII was very weak character and Chamberlain was very badly mistaken. But the first thing that Hitchens completely and quite dishonestly ignores is the tenor of the times in which all four moved. Hitler and the Fascists were at the time widely admired outside Germany, particularly among the political Left. The description of Mussolini by FDR as “that admirable Italian gentleman” perhaps best captures the mood of the times. Harvard, too, was pro-Nazi. Churchill was one of the few who stood against that mood.
Secondly, Hitchens fails to remark the vast public antipathy towards war that prevailed in England at the time. After the horrors of WWI, almost every living soul in Britain considered another European war unthinkable and wished that no stone be left unturned to avoid such a war. In his policy of appeasement Chamberlain was simply representing the nation that he led.
So Edward VIII’s undoubted enchantment with Hitler and George VI’s support for Chamberlain were well within the normal range of opinion for the times. Neither man had Hitchens’ luxury of seeing events from the vantage point of the year 2011.
Hitchens is also enraged that Churchill supported Edward VIII for a time. But Churchill was by that time quite conservative and in a monarchy support for the King is simply normal conservative practice.
Hitchens accuses the makers a popular movie of distorting history but it is Hitchens the historian who is the biggest distorter of all — JR
British PM aiming to crack down on £1bn ‘sue-the-boss’ culture
Workplace law is to be torn up to bring a £1billion a year employment tribunal bonanza to an end. David Cameron and Vince Cable will today trigger a battle with trade union leaders by unveiling plans to make it much harder for workers to claim compensation from their bosses.
The Coalition will argue that unfair dismissal and compensation claims are increasingly being exploited by disgruntled staff and their lawyers. Ministers say it is vital to lift the burden of red tape on business as the private sector is asked to drag Britain out of the economic mire.
Today’s proposals include a fee – expected to be around £500 – to bring a tribunal claim, compulsory mediation before a case can proceed to a tribunal, and an increase in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one to two years.
The last move, likely to be the most controversial, would wind the law back to 1999. Before that date, workers had to be employed for two years or more before they could pursue unfair dismissal cases.
Ministers also plan an ‘employers’ charter’ that aims to dispel myths about what an employer can and cannot do to manage their staff reasonably, fairly and lawfully. They are understood to be working on even more radical exemptions from workplace law for the smallest firms, the lifeblood of the economy.
However, judges making employment tribunal rulings will be able to impose new penalties on erring firms, payable to the Exchequer – as well as compensation to victims. This is designed to deter firms from treating staff unlawfully and recoup some of the costs to the state of running tribunals.
Angry union chiefs insisted that changing the law to make it easier for employers to get rid of staff would not improve the performance of firms. But business leaders agreed that urgent action was needed to weed out growing numbers of ‘weak and vexatious’ claims.
Around three out of every five claims now ends with the employer paying off the disgruntled worker simply to save the cost and embarrassment of a full-blown tribunal case. Last year, there were a record 236,000 claims, up 56 per cent in a year and nearly three times the number just five years ago.
The industrial courts grant an estimated £1billion a year in payouts to those who claim they have been wrongly dismissed or suffered discrimination.
The British Chambers of Commerce says it typically costs a firm £8,500 to defend a case at a tribunal, but only £5,400 to settle it by paying off the worker who complained.
Mr Cable said: ‘Disputes in the workplace cost time and money, can affect morale, reduce productivity and hold back businesses. ‘We often hear that knife-edge decisions about whether to hire new staff can be swung by concerns about ending up in an employment tribunal if things don’t work out. Today’s proposals address these concerns and should help give employers more confidence.’
John Cridland, head of the CBI, said: ‘It is in everyone’s interests that disputes are resolved swiftly and fairly. Introducing an element of charging would help weed out weak and vexatious claims, clearing the way for more deserving cases to be heard.’
But TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘While employer groups complain that tribunals are costing them too much, they have lost sight of the fact that if firms treated their staff fairly, few would ever find themselves taken to court.’
The greatest increase in claims has come under EU legislation. Numbers of cases involving the European Working Time Directive – which limits the working week to 48 hours – almost quadrupled last year from 24,000 to 95,200. Numbers of race discrimination claims have gone up by nearly 40 per cent in two years to reach 5,700 last year.
The false rape claims come thick and fast in England
One yesterday, another today
A middle-aged council chief executive told of his nine-month nightmare yesterday after being cleared of rape. Byron Davies, 52, was accused by a married 26-year-old who worked for the same council of having sex with her when she was too drunk to give proper consent.
He insisted she had targeted him in a bar, had behaved in a ‘flirtatious’ manner and had not been that drunk, despite the strong lagers he had bought her.
After being cleared in just over an hour, the £100,000-a-year divorcee said the case should never have been brought and that he was considering legal action over detectives’ ‘lazy’ handling of the investigation.
The trial, which revolved around a one-night-stand at the father of two’s apartment, comes amid debate over whether men accused of rape should be granted anonymity, like their alleged victims.
Mr Davies, who remains suspended from his job as chief executive of Conwy County Borough Council in North Wales, said he was devastated and angry that he had been accused. ‘Obviously I am absolutely delighted and thrilled with the decision that has been reached today,’ he added. He had ‘an element of sympathy’ for his accuser, and said ‘she may require some kind of psychiatric help’.
Mr Davies said he had been eating by himself at a hotel in Conwy after work on March 23 last year when the woman began staring at him then approached him, asking if he was Byron Davies.
A council employee, she had spent the evening drinking with a male friend. Mr Davies admitted he had been flattered by the attention of an attractive woman half his age and bought her at least two lagers. He claimed she had asked for his help in moving to a new job at the council, to which he had replied that he could not help.
He denied she was drunk and said she had repeatedly asked him if he had a room at the hotel. Mr Davies told the jury he had begun to leave for home, but she told him she was ‘always on my own’ so in the end he offered to drive her back to his flat.
He said he had asked her if she wanted to go to bed, even though he had been anxious and nervous about having sex with her. At about six o’clock the following morning, Mr Davies said he got up for work, waking the woman with difficulty. He denied asking her for ‘a quick one’ but offered her a lift home and claimed she said she would rather walk. ‘Not very gentlemanly, it was a one-night stand and I apologise for that,’ he told the court.
But he added: ‘There is no doubt in my mind she targeted me. She knew my name, she sought out my company.’
The prosecution argued that the woman was so drunk that she could not properly consent to sex.
She described herself as ‘happily married’ and said she didn’t remember much about going back to his flat, but said: ‘He kept grabbing me and I told him “I am a married woman, I am not interested”,’ she told police. ‘Why on earth would I want to kiss him? He’s late 40s, early 50s.’ But under cross-examination at Mold Crown Court she was accused of being ‘a wilful person, who lacks judgement, who is impulsive and capable of hurting people if you want to’.
She admitted once cutting her own throat after an argument with her husband but blamed it on a short period of instability.
Judge Niclas Parry told Mr Davies he was discharged with his good character ‘very much intact’.
Last night the council said it had appointed an independent QC to oversee ‘a disciplinary investigation into matters relating to the arrest’. It is understood Mr Davies may be asked to leave his post in return for a substantial pay-off.