Pensioner from Northamptonshire had NHS treatment withdrawn after cutbacks saw criteria change

Colin Hook
Colin Hook
  • Mr Hook is at heightened risk of serious foot problems as he is diabetic
  • He has visited an NHS clinic since 2012 but, despite his condition being unchanged, is now no longer eligible
  • NHS Nene say that - as they struggle with limited finances - their criteria have changed

A diabetic man who had been receiving essential NHS foot treatment for three years has had it withdrawn because of changes in the criteria in Northamptonshire.

Colin Hook, 68, went to the clinic in Rushden for treatment on his feet - which are partiularly vulnerable to complications and even amputation in diabetics - as usual, only to be told he was no longer eligible.

What have I paid my taxes for?

Colin Hook

The Irchester resident insists his condition has not changed, but his appeal to NHS Nene has been rejected. The pensioner is now faced with paying £18 every six weeks to a private company for the service.

He said: “I don’t understand what is different between 2012 and now.

“I have a nerve condition that makes it almost impossible to cut my own toenails. It sounds really minor, but the nurse went mad at me when I tried to do it myself as I ended up slicing into my foot. Things like that are really dangerous for diabetics.

“I haven’t suddenly got better but now I’m being told the NHS aren’t going to deal with me any longer.

“What have I paid my taxes for?”

NHS Nene, which covers the whole of the county bar Corby, said Mr Hook was had been re-assessed in May and was put at “low risk, with good foot health”.

A spokeswoman admitted that this was down to criteria being changed (because cash-strapped NHS Nene has been forced to concentrate on the highest-risk podiatry patients) rather than Mr Hook’s health changing significantly.

Bizarrely, the new rules took effect in 2013 meaning he had somehow been getting treatment for two years without being eligible.

The spokeswoman said: “This should have been implemented sooner as the criteria came into force 2013.

“At his May appointment, was discharged and advised of private organisations who carried out toenail cutting. Although he said he had difficulty reaching his toenails a mobility assessment was carried out.

“He was also assessed for diabetic foot screening and came out low risk.”