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UK NewsAlfie Dingley's mum: Doctors 'frightened' to prescribe cannabis

19:50  08 november  2018
19:50  08 november  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Alfie Dingley has a very rare form of the illness that causes up to 150 seizures per month. His parents want the government to let him use cannabis oil Cannabis oil is available for medical purposes in the Netherlands. Alfie ' s family have previously travelled there to get him cannabis -based treatment

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GPs scared to prescribe medicinal cannabis, says mum of boy with epilepsy (Sky News)

Doctors are "too frightened" to prescribe medicinal cannabis despite the law change, the mother of a severely epileptic boy says.

Hannah Deacon, who has waged a public battle to save her son Alfie Dingley's life, said he is running out of the drug and that his health is at risk.

It comes after MPs said that thousands of patients were being denied prescriptions for cannabis despite the law change because of "botched and cruel" medical guidance.

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Hannah Deacon was overcome with emotion as she heard the news that Home Secretary Sajid Javid was authorising use of the medication for her six-year-old son.

ALFIE Dingley suffers from epilepsy that his mum insists can be treated with cannabis oil — but the family were banned from using it. The petition declares: “I support the call to change the law to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis where they consider it would help their patients; and for patients to

Medicinal cannabis expert Professor Mike Barnes said specialists will not prescribe the drugs because of Royal College of Physicians (RCP) advice stating there is no strong evidence cannabis can help with chronic pain.

And, he added, the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) has advised that non-licensed cannabis products should only be prescribed when surgery is not a possibility.

Alfie Dingley's mum: Doctors 'frightened' to prescribe cannabis © N/A Six-year-old with Sir Patrick Stewart in Westminster, London Ms Deacon said that despite the law change, the NHS guidelines mean that "there is no doctor in this country brave enough to want to prescribe".

In a video posted to Facebook, Ms Deacon said: "I'm very sad to say that on Monday I was informed that Alfie's licence has been revoked.

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Image: Alfie Dingley suffers violent seizures and may one day have to be institutionalised. The mother of a seriously ill six-year-old boy In September, Hannah Deacon and Drew Dingley took their son to the Netherlands so he could take a cannabis -based medicine prescribed by a paediatric neurologist.

Image: Alfie Dingley ' s mother called it a 'momentous day' for families. Doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from 1 November, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced. The new rule will apply to England, Wales and Scotland, and follows several high-profile

"I knew it was coming because obviously now the law has changed he doesn't need a licence anymore which was what the email said from the Home Office."

She continued: "All the 17 families I am helping at the moment are in a position where their children are seizing all day, every day.

Read more: Medicinal cannabis now available on prescription following high-profile campaign (Press Association)

"They are being told by their doctors either, 'No, we are not going to help you,' or 'We want to help you but we are terrified of being put up at the GMC.'

"It is just a disgraceful situation that doctors can find themselves in and they're too frightened to do the right thing by their patient."

On 1 November, specialist doctors were given the option to prescribe products containing cannabis, cannabis resin or cannabinol, if they feel their patients could benefit from it.

But the guidance is leaving medical professionals the other way.

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Image caption Alfie Dingley has not had a seizure since he has been using cannabis oil, his mother said. In July, the home secretary announced plans to allow specialist doctors in the UK to legally prescribe cannabis -derived medicinal products.

Doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from 1 November, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid says. This followed an outcry over Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell being denied access to cannabis oil. The parents of the two young epilepsy sufferers said the product helped to control

Alfie Dingley's mum: Doctors 'frightened' to prescribe cannabis © PA Undated family handout photo issued by Maggie Deacon of Alfie Dingley, MPs have called on the Home Secretary to issue a medical cannabis licence to the six-year-old whose rare form of epilepsy improves after taking the drug Former minister Sir Mike Penning hit out at the RCP and BPNA guidance as "crushing the hopes of many thousands of patients".

He said: "We are now in the quite frankly cruel and ludicrous position of families with severely epileptic children once again having to fundraise to go abroad to get access to a medicine that we have just legalised in the UK.

"Those responsible for this botched and cruel outcome should hang their heads in shame."

Labour's Tonia Antoniazzi said she was "outraged and dumbfounded in equal measure" by the restrictions, which were introduced on Wednesday.

Seven-year-old Alfie was granted a special licence before the law change but Ms Deacon feared the guidance would rule out renewal.

She previously said: "We were told the law had changed because of the work we and Billy Caldwell had done, but we are worried it won't benefit us."

An NHS spokesperson said the law change means specialists can prescribe the products for a "small number" of patients where there is evidence of benefit.

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