NHS FIFE has been ordered to apologise to a man that was refused weight loss surgery even though he had already lost 10 stone.

Martin Keatings, 32, from Cairneyhill, was told he must lose five per cent of his body mass – but the weight that he had already lost before his referral wouldn't be counted.

The full-time carer, who also suffers from ME, was originally referred for surgery in the hope of wiping out his Type 2 diabetes.

The condition was caused after Martin developed neuralgia which saw his weight balloon to 30 stone.

He then lost 10 stone on his own but wasn't able to lose any more and was referred to the Fife adult weight management service.

Following an investigating by the Scottish Public Services, NHS Fife has been told to apologise to Martin and provide him with an opportunity for a second opinion or to appeal the decision.

The Ombudsman found that it was "unreasonable" for the health board not to progress Martin to the next stage of bariatric surgery solely because he had not lost five per cent of his body weight.

It also said that the board did not give "reasonable consideration" to his co-existing health conditions and his weight loss prior to his referral.

Martin claims he was "shafted because of a technicality" and that his health has suffered considerably in the two years since.

"They put me through a process which has taken nearly two years to complete – they've treated me like garbage," he said.

"They originally failed to diagnose my diabetes for seven years, so I've had 10 years of hell with my health.

"After several years you start to question your own assessment.

"So the judgement is great and shows my assertions were true but NHS Fife has not acted in an acceptable manner."

Martin was forced to go to the Ombudsman after he challenged NHS Fife but was not offered a second opinion or the opportunity to appeal.

It has since transpired that the board's decision to refuse progress onto the next stage of treatment had not included a bariatric physician or a specialist nurse

He added: "I wouldn't trust a second opinion from them, it would have to be another board.

"But at the moment the ball is in their court and they have a deadline to get back to me.

"I do not want to take money from frontline services so they can fund a legal case but if I take that action then I can do it in the knowledge that I took all reasonable steps before I did.

"In my experience, they say they are making changes, but they don't.

"The decision to deny me was never actually made by a bariatric consultant and I find that absolutely ridiculous.

"You wouldn't send a cancer patient to an obstetrician, it beggars belief."

Martin says during his fight for justice his health has taken a hit.

"The last two years my diabetes has been at risk of progression and the cost of surgery would have been 10 times less than the projected cost of managing my illness over the next 10 years.

"All NHS Fife had to do was admit they made a mistake.

"My ME is affected severely by stress and the medication for neuralgia makes my symptoms worse.

"I've now developed an acid reflux condition caused by long-term medication use.

"If I had lost weight then I wouldn't be on such high medicine doses.

"It's a whole lot of pain I've had to endure."