Dover & Deal MP Natalie Elphicke has called on the Government and the NHS to provide medical cannabis for her young constituent Teagan Appleby, who suffers from severe epilepsy.

Teagan is one of around 50 children in the UK who need medical cannabis to control their seizures, but only three of them have access to it on the NHS.

Natalie raised Teagan’s case in Parliament on Thursday 8 June 2023, and asked the Commons Leader Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt to intervene. She said that Teagan’s private doctor, who currently prescribes her medical cannabis, is retiring soon, and that ‘time is running out for Teagan’ to secure the medicine she relies on.

Penny Mordaunt agreed to support Natalie’s campaign and said that ‘this young person should have access to the medical care that they need’. She promised to contact the Department for Health officials to take up Teagan’s case immediately.

Natalie welcomed Penny’s response and said: “I’m grateful to the Commons Leader, Penny Mordaunt, for her sympathetic and timely support for Teagan. There’s been a logjam in the NHS since medical cannabis was approved for children with severe epilepsy like Teagan.

“It’s been so disappointing and difficult for Teagan’s mum Emma each time it looks like a breakthrough in securing NHS treatment, only to be back to the drawing board again. The response of the local and national NHS chiefs to Teagan’s plight has been appalling. It’s long overdue that this is sorted out and Teagan given the NHS support she needs and deserves.”

Medical cannabis is legal in the UK and can be prescribed by specialist doctors for some types of epilepsy. However, there are many barriers and delays in getting it on the NHS, and many families have to resort to fundraising for private prescriptions. It contains CBD (cannabidiol), a chemical substance found in cannabis that has medical benefits and does not make people high. Research shows that CBD can reduce seizures for some people with epilepsy.

By Ed

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