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Mother wins gastric band legal case

A mother-of-three is believed to have become the first person in the country to use a judicial review to force the NHS to give her a gastric bypass so she can lose weight, her solicitor said.

Hazel Kent sought a judicial review, which often involves human rights issues and planning decisions, after she was refused the operation by her local primary care trust (PCT).

The 40-year-old was denied the life-saving treatment despite her weight ballooning to nearly 16 stone and reaching a size 20.

The divorcee had already paid for one operation in September 2001 and saw her weight plummet from 17-and-a-half stone to 10 stone, making her a size 12.

But two-and-a-half years later the gastric band came loose and had to be removed to prevent Mrs Kent, of Bracknell, Berkshire, contracting blood poisoning.

Despite being given appetite-suppressing drugs, Mrs Kent's weight rocketed after the gastric band was removed.

However, East Berkshire PCT has refused to pay for a second, more permanent, gastric bypass, which cost between £8,000 and £15,000 each time.

She launched her own fight for the PCT to reverse its decision but when this failed Mrs Kent employed McCool Patterson Hemsi solicitors to take her claim to the High Court.

Mrs Kent has now won her battle after the PCT decided not to contest the judicial review in the High Court and fund her treatment.

She hopes to have the surgery by Christmas and be back at home enjoying the holiday with her children James, 19, Oliver, 16, and 15-year-old Jacqueline.


From Belfast Telegraph