Kent mother struggles to access medication through NHS which could 'save her daughter's life'

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders

A mother from Kent has said that she is still struggling to access medication through the NHS, which could 'save her daughter's life'.

12-year-old Teagan, from Aylesham, has hundreds of seizures a day which can be reduced by medical cannabis, but it is costing the family £2,000 a month to privately fund it.The medication was legalised in the UK three years ago, but campaigners claim that so far only three prescriptions for a specific type of the drug have ever been issued.

As she struggles for a prescription, Emma Appleby said families like hers feel abandoned.

  • Mum, Emma Appleby says she feels 'abandoned'

Emma said: "There's something there that will keep my daughter alive. It's within reaching distance but I have to find £2,000 every month to do that and I think it's disgusting."

"Before [having the medical cannabis] she would just be asleep or resting from her seizures."

In 2018, the government legalised medical cannabis and in 2019, Emma tried to bring in some CBD extract oil in from the Netherlands but the drugs were confiscated.

Parent campaigners plan to gather at parliament tomorrow (2nd November), to highlight what they call a 3-year failure of government policy.

  • Daniel Jennings, Epilepsy Action

Daniel Jennings, from Epilepsy Action, said: "Three years ago the government changed the law but in that time there's been only one cannabis-based medicine licensed for epilepsy in the UK."

"It's a lack of research that's the real problem. There's been no trials on other cannabis-based medicinal products in that time so clinicians don't have the evidence base. They need to feel confident prescribing these drugs on the NHS."

Parents are calling for the drugs to be more widely researched, licensed and then prescribed.

Parents are calling for the drugs to be more widely researched. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Emma said: "We're asking the government to either help us get a prescription on the NHS or step up and fund our prescriptions that we're getting privately."

The Department of Health said that "licensed cannabis-based medicines are funded by the NHS where there is clear evidence of their quality, safety and effectiveness."

Emma said her daughter is clear evidence and every new seizure is a threat to her life.