Kenilworth mother's efforts mean doctors can now prescribe medical cannabis

Medical cannabis can now be prescribed by doctors in most of the UK thanks in part to the campaigning of a Kenilworth mother.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 1:41 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th October 2018, 4:04 am
Hannah Deacon (left) has said she is 'proud' her campaigning has made a difference following a licence being issued for her son Alfie Dingley (right) to be given medical cannabis

Hannah Deacon had fought tirelessly for her son Alfie Dingley to be granted a medical cannabis licence from the Home Office to treat his severe epilepsy.

After trying for more than a year, Alfie was granted a licence in June, and Hannah said it would allow him to lead 'a normal life'.

But Hannah did not stop campaigning after her son got the medicine he needed.

Alfie's case was among those that forced Home Secretary Sajid Javid to take action.

She wanted to make sure other families going through the same struggles as her were able to access medical cannabis just like Alfie.

Hannah got in touch with several families whose children were suffering through not having access to medical cannabis, and vowed to keep fighting on their behalf.

And now, Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP has announced specialist doctors will be able to prescribe medical cannabis in England, Scotland and Wales from Thursday November 1.

Hannah said she was 'proud' that her campaigning played a part in the decision and added it was 'just amazing'.

She said: "We worked with government and we helped them to see that, actually, Alfie had changed so much (after cannabis treatment).

"The announcement is so special. We're so happy that we can be part of it.

"I hope they (the doctors) embrace this legislation. This is not going to work unless the Department for Health embrace this change.

"We recognise that there's lots of people that have been working towards this. We wouldn't ever say this is about us, but I know we've played a huge part in this change happening."

Hannah paid tribute to all the families she had spoken to, and said she wished she had known them when Alfie was ill as she had 'no one to talk to' at the time.

She also said Alfie was doing much better now he is getting regular medical cannabis treatment.

She added: "Alfie's doing extremely well. He's a happy, wonderful little boy."

Mr Javid said Alfie's case, along with 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, forced him to take action and change the law.

In a statement, Mr Javid said: "Having been moved by heartbreaking cases involving sick children, it was important to me that we took swift action to help those who can benefit from medicinal cannabis.

"We have now delivered on our promise and specialist doctors will have the option to prescribe these products where there is a real need.

"I’m grateful to the expert panel – who have been considering cases in the interim – and to those who’ve worked hard to bring about this change at the earliest possible opportunity."

The new law means doctors will no longer have to consult an 'expert panel' to prescribe cannabis to patients. However, the treatment cannot be prescribed by a GP - only specialists.