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Rayleigh woman who had stomach removed ordered back to work
A WOMAN who had most of her stomach removed to cure a crippling condition claims she was ordered back to work just three weeks after her operation.
Michelle Stainer had suffered excruciating pain for two years because of ulcers when surgeons at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel decided her only option was to remove most of her stomach.
They operated on October 3, leaving only a small pouch of stomach after removing areas that had been badly scarred by the ulcers.
She said she was discharged on October 8 with the advice to eat just tiny amounts and that she would need between three to six months to fully recover form the operation. But she was left stunned when only three weeks later a doctor at the Churchview Surgery in Rayleigh allegedly refused to give her a certificate excusing her from work for a further four weeks.
The 37-year-old secretary of Derwent Avenue, Rayleigh said: “I was still getting stomach cramps after eating anything as well as sickness and tiredness. The surgeon said it would to take at least another four to six weeks for that to settle down and an average of three to six months to fully recover.
“All I wanted was another month because for the three months before the operation I had to claim employment support allowance because I was so ill. I really want to get back to work but he refused to give me just a bit more time.
“Dr Babar, who I had never seen before, told me he worked for the Department for Work and Pensions tribunal board and that he would be issuing me with a certificate that I should be back at work. I took the certificate and then went out into the waiting room to my mother who had been waiting for me as I have not been able to get about on my own. She couldn’t believe it.”
Mrs Stainer, who is separated from her husband and who was forced to return home to live with her parents during her illness, said she was told Dr Babar based his decision on discharge reports he had received from the Royal London.
She added: “I called my surgeon’s secretary to ask what was going on and she said the papers hadn’t even been completed out at that point. “On Friday they faxed the surgery telling my GP that I must have another month off at least to recuperate.
It was sent around 4.15pm and my mother called the surgery at 5.30pm to ask when my certificate would be ready for collection, only to be told that I would have to wait until Monday (Today, 29th Oct) but I still don’t have a certificate.”
Susan Morris-Newnham, spokeswoman for the South Essex Primary Care Trust, said: “We have spoken to the practice and although they are unable to make comment on individual patient cases, due to patient confidentiality and data protection, they can confirm they received a complaint from the patient and that this was fully investigated and responded to.”
Ms Stainer said she has not revceived anything from the Trust.
The Echo reported how Dr Anne Dyson, a GP from South Woodham Ferrers, had written to the British Medical Journal complaining that the system for claiming sickness benefits has been deliberately complicated in order to reduce the number of claims.