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NHS bosses struggling to replace specialist surgeon sparking 'extremely frightening' delays for patients

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Health chiefs in Ayrshire have admitted they are struggling to replace a top surgeon who is set to leave this month.NHS Ayrshire & Arran have come under fire this week after an Ayr gran told how she is rapidly losing weight whilst waiting for a operation on a hiatial hernia.Kathy Allan, 58, last week told how she has shed 10 stone in nine months as she battles the condition.Medics discovered the gran-of-six has a 10cm hernia which has left a 4cm hole in her diaphragm and left her unable to eat.

Kathy has had three operations at Ayr Hospital cancelled since December.Ayrshire Live can now reveal that the type of specialist surgery Kathy requires has been put on hold due to a staffing crisis within the health board.Kathy requires bariatric surgery - a sub-specialism of upper gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, which requires a specifically trained surgeon.In NHS Ayrshire & Arran, bariatric surgery is carried out by a single consultant surgeon.

But the surgeon has quit the health board and is set to leave by the end of March. Dr Crawford McGuffie NHS Ayrshire & Arran's medical director has now admitted that the health board has been able to secure an immediate replacement for the specialised role.However the region's top doctor is confident that other surgeons may be able to fill the gap which has left Kathy and others on the waiting lists facing delays.Dr McGuffie said: "Bariatric surgery is a sub-specialism of upper gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, which requires a consultant to have specific additional training and experience."Within NHS Ayrshire & Arran, bariatric surgery is performed by a single consultant surgeon who has indicated an intention to leave the organisation by the end of March."Unfortunately, we have been

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