Stop the NHS Denying Patients Access to Medical Cannabis

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On 19th June 2019, hard battle to get my son Alfie Dingley, who suffers from epilepsy, access to full extract medical cannabis on prescription after he received the first permanent medical cannabis license, he then went onto receive the first NHS prescription when the law changed in November 2018. 

This fight not only helped my son, it played a big part in getting the law changed to allow access to medical cannabis under prescription in the UK.  

This change came into effect on 1st Nov. With it the hopes of thousands of patients were raised.  But the NHS asked the Royal College of Physicians and the British Paediatric Neurology Association to create and publish guidelines on when it should be prescribed, and the guidelines they produced are so restrictive that almost no-one will get access to medical cannabis.  This is simply shattering. These guidelines are not being seen as guidance by many they are being seen as a complete block on prescriptions so we do not know of any doctors who will prescribe. 

The guidelines are so restrictive that if it wasn’t for the fact that Alfies story helped to change the law and therefore he now has an NHS prescription, he would never be given a prescription today. 

Thousands of patients have now had their hopes dashed and face intense disappointment and further suffering.

In particular, I know of many families with severely epileptic children who are now having to try and fundraise to go abroad to get access to the full medical cannabis that we have just made legal here! 

We are suddenly back to square one.

The Recommendation from the Royal College of Physicians is that there is insufficient evidence to warrant prescription for pain. That is nonsense and flies in the face of several publications and even the opinion of the Chief Medical Officer. That Recommendation effectively stops doctors prescribing. A similar non sensical situation has arisen with BPNA’s Recommendation about childhood epilepsy. Sad, unnecessary and wrong. 

This is a case of the NHS and some of the medical professional bodies snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  The NHS must review the guidelines immediately so patients can have access to medical cannabis. Please support Indie-Rose (pictured) and the many other patients who are suffering by signing this petition.