Home Office to review appeal over medical cannabis for young boy

The Home Office is to look at a young boy's application to use medicinal cannabis "speedily", the Prime Minister has said.

The family of Alfie Dingley want him to be given the medication, a banned substance in the UK, to treat his rare form of epilepsy.

An application for a special licence for the treatment was submitted to the Home Office on Monday by Alfie's GP and a neurologist.

Prime Minister Theresa May was probed about the issue during Prime Ministers Questions by Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington.

Alfie Dingley's cannabis licence is to be reviewed by the Home Office (Maggie Deacon/PA)
Alfie Dingley's cannabis licence is to be reviewed by the Home Office (Maggie Deacon/PA)

She said: "I was very pleased to be able to meet Alfie and his family.

"I have written to the family to reiterate our commitment to explore the range of options for finding a solution for Alfie.

"Of course we want to ensure that people get the treatment that they need. It is also important that medicines are properly and thoroughly tested.

"But I will also ensure that the Home Office looks at this application speedily."

The youngster has previously travelled to the Netherlands so he could be treated with cannabis oil.

He has been admitted to hospital several times in recent weeks due to the severity of his symptoms.

Alfie suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that results in up to 150 potentially life threatening seizures a month.

But his family said that with the treatment of medicinal cannabis, these seizures were reduced to just one per month.

Alfie Dingley travels to Downing Street to submit a petition backing his campaign (PA)
Alfie Dingley goes to Downing Street to submit a petition backing his campaign (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

His mother Hannah Deacon, from Kenilworth in Warwickshire, said: "We thank the many parliamentarians that have supported us and the supportive signals from the Home Office.

"But we are now approaching a crisis. Alfie's condition is deteriorating.

"We've done as the Government has asked and the application is in. Now it's time for compassion and swift action.

"Our family should not have to fight this hard for something that we know works for our son."

In March, the family handed a petition backing Alfie's campaign, signed by 370,000 people, to Downing Street.

A number of high-profile campaigners have supported the campaign, including Sir Patrick Stewart, Joanna Lumley and Sir Richard Branson.

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