Man gets £5k gastric band refund from Newport clinic
3:47pm Saturday 19th January 2013 in Gwent news
A PATIENT who paid £4,995 to have a gastric balloon fitted at a Newport clinic before it shut has had his money back.
Eric Jones was a client of Nucleus Healthcare's Celtic Springs Clinic, which shut last October after failing to solve cashflow pressures.
The 63-year-old paid £4,995 for the procedure in October 2011, £2,500 coming from an interest free loan offered through the clinic and the rest from savings.
Weighing 17-and-a-half stones, Mr Jones had hoped the device would help him lose more than three stones, but it failed.
He returned to Newport in June 2012 to have it taken out and was told he was to have a replacement balloon fitted.
"Then I had a phone call from the matron in the September saying she had bad news that the balloon would no longer be fitted and I would have to write to the finance director of the NHS to get my money back, which I did," he recalled.
Mr Jones didn't receive a reply, so called Nucleus again.
He said he was told Nucleus Healthcare Limited, trading as Celtic Springs Clinic, had entered administration and he was to contact BM Advisory, the firm dealing with matters.
He filled in their paperwork and was told he would not be getting a refund.
"In the meantime I read an article in a paper about if you had faulty goods you can get your money back under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act," he said.
Mr Jones, of Bristol, contacted Which magazine, who told him to write to his loan company Hitachi Capital.
Within eight weeks, he was given his £4,995 back.
"I am trying to say to people they might be entitled to get their money back under the act. £4,995 is a lot of money," he added.
The NHS stepped in to provide aftercare for 33 people in Wales who gastric balloons fitted.
Nine patients also had the procedure in England.