Parents call for more access to medicinal cannabis for son who has hundreds of seizures a day

Joanne and Paul pay thousands of pounds every month for their epileptic son's medicinal cannabis.

A family from Preston has urged Sajid Javid for better access to medicinal cannabis to help their epileptic son who can suffer 'hundreds of seizures a day.'

'End Our Pain' say families are paying for private prescriptions despite a change in the law three years ago, allowing certain patients to access treatment through the NHS.

The campaigners, who gathered outside of parliament to protest, claim that only three prescriptions for a specific type of the drug have ever been issued since the change in law.

Ben Griffiths can have hundreds of seizures a day.

It has left many families - like Joanne and Paul Griffiths from Preston - paying for the treatment privately, with some spending up to £2,000 a month.

Their son Ben has severe epilepsy, brain damage, cerebral palsy and autism.

They say taking medicinal cannabis for the last two years has 'transformed his life', from having hundreds of seizures a day to no more than five.

"It's made a huge impact to his life, and it's made a huge impact to our lives and the lives of our other children", Joanne said. "He's never been so well."

Paul urged: "Please help us, Sajid Javid. Help us and so many other families have a normal life."

Families protested outside of the parliament demanding more access to medicinal cannabis. Credit: ITV News

Daniel Jennings, senior policy and campaigns officer at the charity Epilepsy Action, said: "It is disappointing that three years since cannabis-based medicines were made legal very little has changed.

"Too many families who could potentially benefit from these treatments are not able to access them through the NHS, forcing many to fund expensive private prescriptions.

"We urge the Government and Department of Health to ensure that policies are in place to allow clinicians to prescribe these medicines which have made a huge difference to many people's quality of life."

Sajid Javid Credit: PA

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "Our sympathies are with all patients and families dealing with rare and hard to treat conditions.

"The Government has already changed the law to allow specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis-based products, where clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.

"Licensed cannabis-based medicines are funded by the NHS where there is clear evidence of their quality, safety and effectiveness."