Shoreham man refused pigskin treatment by NHS

Mark Eaves

Mark Eaves

First published in News by , Health reporter

A man has been left virtually housebound because health bosses are refusing to pay for a treatment using pigskin that could help him.

Mark Eaves is in such severe pain due to his two hernias, he needs morphine patches to help him cope.

The 41-year-old from Shoreham has lost his job, spends most of his time in bed and his family say he has no quality of life.

Mr Eaves, of Warwick Walk, has had numerous operations and treatment since first developing two hernias, small lumps in the groin that push through the abdominal wall, six years ago.

Surgeons have tried repairing them but they have been unsuccessful and the hernias keep returning.

Specialists at St Mark’s Hospital in London, who are caring for Mr Eaves, want to try a more expensive type of mesh to repair the hernias, which is made out of pigskin.

Experts believe the surgery has a better chance of success because the pig’s collagen structure is very similar to a human’s so there is less chance of the body rejecting it.

However the treatment costs £8,500 compared to using a synthetic mesh, which costs hundreds of pounds.

A special application had to be made to Mr Eaves’ local clinical commissioning group (CCG) to approve funding for the treatment.

However the application has been turned down twice and Mr Eaves’ wife Sarah, 41, says they are reaching the end of their tether.

She said: “There is no quality of life for Mark. It is heartbreaking to see him in so much pain. It is draining for him and for me.”

“This operation may be more expensive but it will be a lot cheaper in the long term if it works because Mark will not need all the treatment and pain relief he currently needs and he will be able to work again,” she added.

A spokeswoman for Coastal West Sussex CCG said: “There are treatments and drugs, such as strattice mesh, which are not routinely available on the NHS, but we do have a robust process to consider individual requests for these types of health care.

“Mr Eaves’ case has been considered twice by a specialist panel of hospital consultants, GPs and lay people, who have reviewed all of the available evidence for this treatment to see whether it would be effective for Mr Eaves’ condition. On both occasions, after fully considering the case the specialist panel could not find evidence the treatment would be effective for Mr Eaves. It was also noted that Mr Eaves had already had mesh treatment and it was not working.

“We appreciate that the decision not to approve strattice mesh treatment for Mr Eaves is very disappointing both for Mr Eaves and his family.

“We would encourage them to speak to Mr Eaves’ GP and health professionals about alternative treatments and support available to help to manage his condition.”

Comments (11)

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3:38pm Mon 17 Mar 14

qm says...

Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle.
Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.
Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle. Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary. qm
  • Score: 11

6:51pm Mon 17 Mar 14

jackthekipper says...

he needs to be careful my friend had pigskin ear drum replacement therapy everything was fine at first but then all he could hear was crackling
he needs to be careful my friend had pigskin ear drum replacement therapy everything was fine at first but then all he could hear was crackling jackthekipper
  • Score: 7

8:14pm Mon 17 Mar 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

qm wrote:
Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle.
Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.
Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?
[quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle. Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.[/p][/quote]Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier? From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: 3

9:15pm Mon 17 Mar 14

LeonBIank666 says...

There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.
There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations. LeonBIank666
  • Score: 9

12:20am Tue 18 Mar 14

Iona Ferrari says...

LeonBIank666 wrote:
There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.
And how are your other phobias coming along ?
[quote][p][bold]LeonBIank666[/bold] wrote: There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.[/p][/quote]And how are your other phobias coming along ? Iona Ferrari
  • Score: -3

9:21am Tue 18 Mar 14

qm says...

From beer to uncertainty wrote:
qm wrote:
Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle.
Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.
Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?
It would appear that the decision that it could be a worthwhile attempt to improve Mark's predicament came from a 'centre of excellence' at St.Marks Hospital in London by specialist clinicians who have been treating him.
The decision to withhold funding has come from his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which allegedly is constituted by a multi-disciplinary group of clinical and lay members. Odds are extremely high that final decisions is controlled by budgetary considerations (bean counters) and even if clinical opinions were given any credence, they are not those of the St. Marks Hospital subject matter experts (SMEs) who wouldn't have proposed introducing Mark to Miss Piggy if the prognosis was not a positive one with a high level of improvement, possibly total success.
I thoroughly agree that Mark could improve his prognosis by perhaps losing weight etc. but would point out that being bounced from pillar to post for six years would drive most of us to seek solace in the odd jammy dodger.
Also bear in mind his physical predicament is going to restrict his ability to engage in physical activity especially considering his constant pain/discomfort.
Now, as I was saying re over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' and their perishing spreadsheets . . . . . . . . .
[quote][p][bold]From beer to uncertainty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle. Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.[/p][/quote]Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?[/p][/quote]It would appear that the decision that it could be a worthwhile attempt to improve Mark's predicament came from a 'centre of excellence' at St.Marks Hospital in London by specialist clinicians who have been treating him. The decision to withhold funding has come from his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which allegedly is constituted by a multi-disciplinary group of clinical and lay members. Odds are extremely high that final decisions is controlled by budgetary considerations (bean counters) and even if clinical opinions were given any credence, they are not those of the St. Marks Hospital subject matter experts (SMEs) who wouldn't have proposed introducing Mark to Miss Piggy if the prognosis was not a positive one with a high level of improvement, possibly total success. I thoroughly agree that Mark could improve his prognosis by perhaps losing weight etc. but would point out that being bounced from pillar to post for six years would drive most of us to seek solace in the odd jammy dodger. Also bear in mind his physical predicament is going to restrict his ability to engage in physical activity especially considering his constant pain/discomfort. Now, as I was saying re over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' and their perishing spreadsheets . . . . . . . . . qm
  • Score: 5

10:03am Tue 18 Mar 14

ThinkBrighton says...

Iona Ferrari wrote:
LeonBIank666 wrote:
There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.
And how are your other phobias coming along ?
Leon hit a nerve there didn't he Iona!
[quote][p][bold]Iona Ferrari[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LeonBIank666[/bold] wrote: There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.[/p][/quote]And how are your other phobias coming along ?[/p][/quote]Leon hit a nerve there didn't he Iona! ThinkBrighton
  • Score: -1

11:02am Tue 18 Mar 14

michaelr says...

I want some crystals for my good health.
Cheap at only a grand but the doctor will not pay for them.
Will the Argus get a petition for me
I want some crystals for my good health. Cheap at only a grand but the doctor will not pay for them. Will the Argus get a petition for me michaelr
  • Score: -2

1:38pm Tue 18 Mar 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

qm wrote:
From beer to uncertainty wrote:
qm wrote:
Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle.
Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.
Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?
It would appear that the decision that it could be a worthwhile attempt to improve Mark's predicament came from a 'centre of excellence' at St.Marks Hospital in London by specialist clinicians who have been treating him.
The decision to withhold funding has come from his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which allegedly is constituted by a multi-disciplinary group of clinical and lay members. Odds are extremely high that final decisions is controlled by budgetary considerations (bean counters) and even if clinical opinions were given any credence, they are not those of the St. Marks Hospital subject matter experts (SMEs) who wouldn't have proposed introducing Mark to Miss Piggy if the prognosis was not a positive one with a high level of improvement, possibly total success.
I thoroughly agree that Mark could improve his prognosis by perhaps losing weight etc. but would point out that being bounced from pillar to post for six years would drive most of us to seek solace in the odd jammy dodger.
Also bear in mind his physical predicament is going to restrict his ability to engage in physical activity especially considering his constant pain/discomfort.
Now, as I was saying re over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' and their perishing spreadsheets . . . . . . . . .
Fair points qm. However, quite honestly, SMEs don't consider cost vs benefit - often it can be surgeons responding positively to bio-tech reps and being a bit bored with the same old, same old. Clever kids like new toys and "a chance to cut is a chance to heal" is their age old surgical mantra.

I never suggested exercise...strenuous exercise would be daft with a hernia. Eating less is the safe way to lose weight. Walking is good...as long as it is in the opposite direction to the bread bin.

Your arguments do apply elsewhere, e.g, malnourished elderly patients get surgeons spending £10k plus on single ops and aftercare that they don't survive long after. Why you ask? Because these poor folk need a few extra pounds and a little help to eat properly. Bizarre they'll get £2k worth of antibiotics on ICU but couldn't afford fish and chips for the preceding 6 months and then just gone straight home after the op.
[quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]From beer to uncertainty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle. Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.[/p][/quote]Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?[/p][/quote]It would appear that the decision that it could be a worthwhile attempt to improve Mark's predicament came from a 'centre of excellence' at St.Marks Hospital in London by specialist clinicians who have been treating him. The decision to withhold funding has come from his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which allegedly is constituted by a multi-disciplinary group of clinical and lay members. Odds are extremely high that final decisions is controlled by budgetary considerations (bean counters) and even if clinical opinions were given any credence, they are not those of the St. Marks Hospital subject matter experts (SMEs) who wouldn't have proposed introducing Mark to Miss Piggy if the prognosis was not a positive one with a high level of improvement, possibly total success. I thoroughly agree that Mark could improve his prognosis by perhaps losing weight etc. but would point out that being bounced from pillar to post for six years would drive most of us to seek solace in the odd jammy dodger. Also bear in mind his physical predicament is going to restrict his ability to engage in physical activity especially considering his constant pain/discomfort. Now, as I was saying re over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' and their perishing spreadsheets . . . . . . . . .[/p][/quote]Fair points qm. However, quite honestly, SMEs don't consider cost vs benefit - often it can be surgeons responding positively to bio-tech reps and being a bit bored with the same old, same old. Clever kids like new toys and "a chance to cut is a chance to heal" is their age old surgical mantra. I never suggested exercise...strenuous exercise would be daft with a hernia. Eating less is the safe way to lose weight. Walking is good...as long as it is in the opposite direction to the bread bin. Your arguments do apply elsewhere, e.g, malnourished elderly patients get surgeons spending £10k plus on single ops and aftercare that they don't survive long after. Why you ask? Because these poor folk need a few extra pounds and a little help to eat properly. Bizarre they'll get £2k worth of antibiotics on ICU but couldn't afford fish and chips for the preceding 6 months and then just gone straight home after the op. From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: 1

8:45pm Tue 18 Mar 14

LeonBIank666 says...

Iona Ferrari wrote:
LeonBIank666 wrote:
There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.
And how are your other phobias coming along ?
Not a big fan of spiders to be honest, but I am fine around rats and snakes,
[quote][p][bold]Iona Ferrari[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LeonBIank666[/bold] wrote: There is no money for real needy cases because thousands is being spent on needless trans-sexual operations.[/p][/quote]And how are your other phobias coming along ?[/p][/quote]Not a big fan of spiders to be honest, but I am fine around rats and snakes, LeonBIank666
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Tue 18 Mar 14

qm says...

From beer to uncertainty wrote:
qm wrote:
From beer to uncertainty wrote:
qm wrote:
Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle.
Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.
Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?
It would appear that the decision that it could be a worthwhile attempt to improve Mark's predicament came from a 'centre of excellence' at St.Marks Hospital in London by specialist clinicians who have been treating him.
The decision to withhold funding has come from his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which allegedly is constituted by a multi-disciplinary group of clinical and lay members. Odds are extremely high that final decisions is controlled by budgetary considerations (bean counters) and even if clinical opinions were given any credence, they are not those of the St. Marks Hospital subject matter experts (SMEs) who wouldn't have proposed introducing Mark to Miss Piggy if the prognosis was not a positive one with a high level of improvement, possibly total success.
I thoroughly agree that Mark could improve his prognosis by perhaps losing weight etc. but would point out that being bounced from pillar to post for six years would drive most of us to seek solace in the odd jammy dodger.
Also bear in mind his physical predicament is going to restrict his ability to engage in physical activity especially considering his constant pain/discomfort.
Now, as I was saying re over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' and their perishing spreadsheets . . . . . . . . .
Fair points qm. However, quite honestly, SMEs don't consider cost vs benefit - often it can be surgeons responding positively to bio-tech reps and being a bit bored with the same old, same old. Clever kids like new toys and "a chance to cut is a chance to heal" is their age old surgical mantra.

I never suggested exercise...strenuous exercise would be daft with a hernia. Eating less is the safe way to lose weight. Walking is good...as long as it is in the opposite direction to the bread bin.

Your arguments do apply elsewhere, e.g, malnourished elderly patients get surgeons spending £10k plus on single ops and aftercare that they don't survive long after. Why you ask? Because these poor folk need a few extra pounds and a little help to eat properly. Bizarre they'll get £2k worth of antibiotics on ICU but couldn't afford fish and chips for the preceding 6 months and then just gone straight home after the op.
Think we are in danger of furiously agreeing with one another . . . . . mine's a Guiness, what would you like ;)
[quote][p][bold]From beer to uncertainty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]From beer to uncertainty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]qm[/bold] wrote: Another bunch of myopic bean-counters who fail to see that £8.5k is a minor cost compared to the ongoing expense of repeated treatments plus the inevitable major costs associated with conditions arising from his altered sedentary lifestyle. Add to that his dependency through being unable to work just confirms the inability of over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' to understand the ramifications of "not out of my budget matey!" based decisions that avoid the wider issues and cost far more than is necessary.[/p][/quote]Would normally agree qm but you should perhaps do some research before blaming the docs. The evidence of much benefit appears sparse to say the least. However, I wonder if you or this poor chap could have a look at the evidence of benefit for hernia treatment from simply losing weight. Often much the same results if starting from morbidly obese, I believe. Perhaps blaming others is easier?[/p][/quote]It would appear that the decision that it could be a worthwhile attempt to improve Mark's predicament came from a 'centre of excellence' at St.Marks Hospital in London by specialist clinicians who have been treating him. The decision to withhold funding has come from his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which allegedly is constituted by a multi-disciplinary group of clinical and lay members. Odds are extremely high that final decisions is controlled by budgetary considerations (bean counters) and even if clinical opinions were given any credence, they are not those of the St. Marks Hospital subject matter experts (SMEs) who wouldn't have proposed introducing Mark to Miss Piggy if the prognosis was not a positive one with a high level of improvement, possibly total success. I thoroughly agree that Mark could improve his prognosis by perhaps losing weight etc. but would point out that being bounced from pillar to post for six years would drive most of us to seek solace in the odd jammy dodger. Also bear in mind his physical predicament is going to restrict his ability to engage in physical activity especially considering his constant pain/discomfort. Now, as I was saying re over-paid 'meeting-wallahs' and their perishing spreadsheets . . . . . . . . .[/p][/quote]Fair points qm. However, quite honestly, SMEs don't consider cost vs benefit - often it can be surgeons responding positively to bio-tech reps and being a bit bored with the same old, same old. Clever kids like new toys and "a chance to cut is a chance to heal" is their age old surgical mantra. I never suggested exercise...strenuous exercise would be daft with a hernia. Eating less is the safe way to lose weight. Walking is good...as long as it is in the opposite direction to the bread bin. Your arguments do apply elsewhere, e.g, malnourished elderly patients get surgeons spending £10k plus on single ops and aftercare that they don't survive long after. Why you ask? Because these poor folk need a few extra pounds and a little help to eat properly. Bizarre they'll get £2k worth of antibiotics on ICU but couldn't afford fish and chips for the preceding 6 months and then just gone straight home after the op.[/p][/quote]Think we are in danger of furiously agreeing with one another . . . . . mine's a Guiness, what would you like ;) qm
  • Score: 1

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