Britain’s first specialist medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Greater Manchester – Manchester Evening News

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Britain’s first ever specialist clinic for medicinal cannabis has opened in Greater Manchester.

The government changed the law in October last year allowing expert doctors to legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines when they agree that their patients could benefit from such treatment.

However those behind the pioneering new centre, which opened at The Beeches private health centre next to the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Stockport this week, say only four people have so far accessed this treatment via the NHS and say the clinic will “act as a lifeline to those who have so far struggled to access the treatment.”

The drug is said to be a pain reliever with experts claiming it can used to treat a range of conditions such as arthritis, nerve conditions, muscle cramps, neurological conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well as some psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It will reportedly cost around ÂŁ200 to see a doctor at the new clinic and then ÂŁ600 to ÂŁ700 a month for a private prescription of cannabis – however the clinic insists that the service is aimed at people who have who have “exhausted all existing treatment options.”



Cannabis plants for medicinal use growing at the Pharmacielo marijuana farm in Rionegro, Colombia

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The clinic will be led by Dr David McDowell, an independent pain specialist who made history in December when he issued the first prescription for medical cannabis, and consultant neurologist Professor Mike Barnes, who was responsible for obtaining the first medicinal cannabis licence for Alfie Dingley, from Warwickshire who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, will serve as Clinical Director.

Professor Barnes said: “Patients suffering from chronic pain and other serious neurological or psychiatric conditions have been crying out for this kind of life-changing treatment.

“This clinic will represent a lifeline to those who have found other treatments ineffective.

“This also brings the UK into line with other countries when it comes to pain management.



Alfie Dingley who was granted the first licence for use of medical cannabis in Britain, pictured with mum Hannah Deacon

“The hope is that over time patients all around the country and not just in Manchester will have access to the relief that they need.”

Forzana Nasir, 32, an Open University student from south London, who suffers from the genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which leaves her in severe pain and suffering from nausea and vomiting, was prescribed medical cannabis by McDowell after the change in the law and says it has drastically improved her quality of life.

She said: “Having access to this medicine allows me to ease my chronic pain which turns an unbearable day into a manageable day. It has been life-changing for me – I was almost bedbound before this and now I have much greater quality of life.



Beeches Consulting Centre, next to the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle where the new clinic will be based

“It is so important that other patients in the UK who are suffering can have the same opportunity.

“This clinic opening is a significant step forward for healthcare in this country.”

European Cannabis Holdings, which set up The Medical Cannabis Clinic, is the group which earlier this month created a historic milestone by facilitating the import of the UK’s first bulk shipment ofcannabis-based medicine since the Home Office decision.

Hannah Simon, chief operating officer said: “We are delighted to be supporting the establishment of the Medical Cannabis Clinics in the UK.

“The legalisation of prescription cannabis has given people with chronic illnesses hope; the next step is to ensure the availability of medical cannabis to offer those without other alternatives the treatment they need.”

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Source: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/britains-first-specialist-medicinal-cannabis-15947611

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