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You can get a gastric band on NHS, but not my hole-in heart op!
A MAN who suffered a stroke aged 25 needs to raise £10,000 to have a potentially life-saving operation.
Scott Elliott, now 28, of Agnes Silverside Close, Colchester, has been locked in a two-year battle to have the operation carried out on the NHS.
He wants the hole in his heart to be closed to prevent the possibility of a second stroke.
The NHS has refused to treat him, so he wants to have it done privately.
Mr Elliott’s wife, Helen, 27, said: “Two-and-a-half years later we are still fighting to get the hole closed and we haven’t got anywhere.
“We have always worked so hard and given back.
“Yet, when we need the NHS for something, we feel we have been pushed around from pillar to post.”
“We have been further frustrated in light of some NHS decisions, such as gastric band operations being approved.”
The operation, known as Patent Foramen Ovale Closure, would mean Mr Elliott, a former HGV driver, would get his necessary driving licences back.
Mr Elliott, who now works for a rail company, has had about 50 hospital appointments since suffering the stroke at work in March 2012.
A cardiologist at Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, told Mr Elliott: “This is desperate – there is no way you don’t need it.”
However, the NHS turned him down in May last year.
A special request was sent from another cardiologist to the NHS Commissioning Board last July, but in January the couple were told PTO Closure still was not being publicly funded.
Mr Elliott, who has problems with his speech and confidence, said: “They did a worldwide survey of 20 babies born with PTO – ten had it closed, ten didn’t.
“According to their findings, at the age of 21, when you stop growing, there was no substantial difference for any of them so, therefore, they believe the operation doesn’t have a case.
“But I want to have the operation. I feel like I would get my life back.”
A spokesperson for NHS England (East Anglia) said to: “We understand how difficult this is and sympathise with the patient who may feel they could benefit from this procedure. There is more evidence needed to show that Patent Foramen Ovale ( PFO) is of sufficient benefit to patients and consequently NHS England’s policy is that it should not be routinely commissioned.
“It is likely that PFO will be commissioned at a limited number of centres during the Autumn through its £16.9m Commissioning Through Evaluation programme which trials treatments which clinicians have identified as showing significant promise as a potential treatment option.
“Commissioning Through Evaluation is aimed gather evidence about services which are not currently routinely funded by the NHS as the existing evidence base does not yet demonstrate sufficient clinical and cost-effectiveness for its routine use.”