Medicinal cannabis: just 18 NHS prescriptions issued since change in law – inews

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Exclusive: figure revealed as the first medical cannabis clinic outside London receives a Care Quality Commission licence.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 12:01 am

Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 12:59 pm

Alfie Dingley is one of the very few people in the UK who has been given a NHS prescription for cannabis oil medicine (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty)

A Freedom of Information request also shows that 104 private prescriptions have been handed out since last November, according to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), which processes over 1 billion prescription items every year.

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Medicinal cannabis legislation was introduced a year ago but very few NHS prescriptions have been given (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty)

The latest figures are revealed as the first medical cannabis clinic outside London receives a Care Quality Commission (CQC) licence. MyAccess Clinics in Bristol can now start assessing the 100 patients on its waiting list for conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression.

Bruce Smith, a 45-year-old former member of the army from Devon, with a long history of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and one of those patients, said: “I’m over the moon by this exciting news. For years I’ve been desperately trying to access medical cannabis for my CPTSD and the thought of now being safely prescribed in Bristol fills me with excitement.”

Home care

The CQC registration also allows for domiciliary care, meaning MyAccess Clinics physicians will be made available for home care services for those too unwell to travel.

Graham Woodward, clinical director at MyAccess Clinics, said: “We’re delighted to have received our CQC registration, which I’m confident will be a turning point for patients who have so far been unable to access medical cannabis. I hope this brings renewed hope for the reported 1.4 million people in the UK using ‘street cannabis’ to treat their chronic health conditions that a legitimately sourced, high quality medical cannabis alternative is available.

“We have two MyAccess Clinic locations in Bristol and London, with plans to expand further across the country.”

Britain’s leading medical cannabis patient group hailed the CQC’s decision as “providing real hope to thousands of families”.

Leila Simpson, deputy CEO of the United Patients Alliance, said: “Patients have remained frustrated by the slow uptake of prescriptions in both the NHS and private sector, and we call on the Government to urgently increase the speed of access to these vital medicines with uninterrupted supply based on patient need.”

The Bristol-based clinic also intends to start receiving patients from Project TWENTY21, Europe’s largest medical cannabis project, designed to build the largest ever evidence base for NHS provision of these cannabis-based medicines, which launched this month. It is led by drug specialist and campaigner Professor David Nutt, and will enrol 20,000 patients suffering from a variety of conditions by the end of 2021.

This article originally appeared here in https://inews.co.uk/news/health/medicinal-cannabis-nhs-prescriptions-change-law-996344

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