AN OBESE man weighing 55 stone is blocking four NHS hospital beds as he costs taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds in a more than five-month stay in hospital.
Hospital staff are spoken of their fury at having to turn other patients away because Matthew Crawford, 33, cannot be discharged.
The obese lad as a four-bed bay on a ward all to himself – but he is medically fit for discharge, but due to a lack of social care space he cannot leave King’s Mill Hospital.
Crawford also has convictions for assaulting four nurses at a care home near Newark, Notts.
Sources claim he orders pizzas and takeaways to be eaten on the ward – and even posted a picture online of him clutching a bottle of champagne, reports the Mirror.
NHS workers are said to be “sick to the back teeth” as there is “nothing medically wrong” with him.
The hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield had to postpone more than 70 non-urgent operations which required overnight stays as it struggled with discharging patients into social care in January.
“If people tasted the food in this place you would know why I buy my own food”
Crawford is reported to have spent cash from his fortnightly £300 Employment Support Allowance on takeaways he ordered from his bed.
He even moaned about the food at his original care home, posting on social media: “Just want to set the record straight, I don’t spend all my money on takeaways.
“I might get 300 quid a fortnight but I spend over 100 quid every fortnight on food shopping.
“If people tasted the food in this place you would know why I buy my own food.”
Crawford was moved to King’s Mill Hospital in May from the care home were he committed the assaults.
He could not attend his court hearing where he was convicted of common assault as there were no ambulances big enough.
Sources said the football fan was sent a discharge letter months ago.
But a nationwide lack of appropriate obesity beds means he is still on the ward.
His mum Linda Belshaw said denied claims Crawford orders takeaways to the hospital – and that she brings him food.
She said: “He’s waiting to move [to a care home].
“Everything including the funding has been sorted. They have got his room ready. They are just waiting for the equipment to be installed.”
The disabled pensioner said it was “nonsense” that she supplied him with food – accusing people of “trying to stir it for him”.
A source said: “He is taking up much-needed bed space that is supposed to be for ill patients. The situation is madness.
“The NHS always gets slated for not having enough beds and he’s taking up four. It’s so frustrating.
“Staff are at their wits’ end. They are still treating him because they are compassionate and it’s part of their job.”
Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ deputy chief nurse, Phil Bolton, refused to comment on Crawford’s specific case.