Boy granted medicinal cannabis oil licence cannot get home

A young Northern Ireland boy who has been granted a licence for the use of medicinal cannabis has had his return home delayed.

The Home Office gave Billy Caldwell, who has a rare forms of epilepsy, a short-term licence to allow him access to cannabis oil - which his mother Charlotte says helps to control his seizures.

They have been in London where Billy, 12, has been receiving treatment.

" In the finalHours of Billys stay here in London , cruelly his homecoming has being Blocked"........... ??"The Home...

Posted by Keep Billy Alive on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

But on Wednesday, Ms Caldwell claimed the Home Office decision needs to be ratified by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland before they can book their flights to go home to Co Tyrone.

"The Home Office and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have said we can go home," Ms Caldwell said in a statement.

"It needs the ratification of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland before we can book our flights."

Ms Caldwell has claimed that the department is not responding to emails or phone calls over the matter.

"Billy and I are desperate to get home to our own beds, and the stress is compounded by the difficulty we are having finding suitable and specific accommodation in London, near Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where Billy's meds must be administered," she said.

"There is simply nothing available beyond tonight because of the Wimbledon tennis.

"While the Home Office has quite categorically and openly stated that Billy and I can go home, and have agreed an emergency licence for me to administer Bill's meds at home in Castlederg."

However, a spokesperson for the department of health said they are working to try and get Ms Caldwell and her son home.

"The Department is actively working for a timely resolution to this matter. Any suggestion to the contrary is without foundation," a spokesman said.

"We are in constant contact with the Home Office and advising Belfast Trust on the licence requirements and the best way to promptly complete this process."