A DORSET man is facing losing the sight in one eye because the local NHS has refused to pay for the injections his GP and specialist recommend.

Accountant Mike Fort, 48, of Corfe Mullen, was diagnosed with a rare form of wet macular degeneration two and a half years ago, when he was living in Weymouth. The disease happens when tiny abnormal blood vessels begin to grow behind the retina, the innermost coating of the eyeball. They usually leak, damaging the middle of the retina, or macula, and cause a rapid loss of central vision, making it difficult to read, watch television or recognise faces.

Through his employer’s private health insurance, Mike was given injections into his eye of a drug called Lucentis, which works by preventing the growth of the abnormal blood vessels.

But after Mike was made redundant in March last year, his consultant appealed to NHS Dorset for funding to continue the injections.

The trust ruled that Mike did not qualify because NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has only approved Lucentis for people with age-related wet MD.

Since moving to Corfe Mullen last September, junior rugby coach Mike has also been turned down by NHS Bournemouth and Poole. He paid for the last three injections himself at £2,000 a time, but is unable to fund further treatment.

“I cannot believe that my age dictates whether I lose my sight or not.

“Without treatment, my vision will deteriorate – and has already done so,” he said.

“I’m not claiming on the NHS for anything else. If I have enough of the injections, it will stop the condition. If I don’t have the injections, there’s a chance I will lose sight in that eye.”

A spokesman for the primary care trusts said they could not comment on individual cases. “We are sorry to hear about this patient’s situation.

“Decisions made about eligibility for specific drugs are always based upon what would give the best clinical outcomes for the patient (and) are explained to both the patient and clinician.”