Health and Social Care

Campaign: End Our Pain "Patients need help: act now to support those denied medical cannabis"

The Government is working hard to get the right approach. The law was changed on 1 November last year to ensure that it is now legal for doctors on the specialist register of the General Medical Council to prescribe cannabis-based products for medicinal use in the UK. Whether to prescribe must remain a clinical decision to be made with the patients and their families, taking into account the best available international clinical evidence and the circumstances of each individual patient.

Furthermore, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has been commissioned to develop guidelines on the prescribing of cannabis-based medicinal products by October 2019. The guidance will focus on four indications: chronic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, treatment-resistant epilepsy and spasticity. It will be based on the best available international evidence and produced using NICE’s world-renowned process for delivering such guidelines. This guidance will update and replace the interim guidance.

Campaign: HCPC Fees

The HCPC is independent of Government, funded by registrants’ fees on a costs recovery basis.

Following public consultation, the HCPC is planning to raise its annual fees by £16. If adopted, the HCPC’s annual registration fee will rise from £90 to £106 a year from October 2019. The HCPC registration fees will remain the lowest of any of the United Kingdom-wide health and care regulators. Registration fees are tax-deductible and this fee rise will amount to just over £1 a month extra for most of the HCPC’s registrants.

Campaign: NHS Long Term Plan 

The NHS Long Term Plan is a new plan for the NHS to improve the quality of patient care and health outcomes. It sets out how the £20.5 billion budget settlement for the NHS, announced by the Prime Minister in summer 2018, will be spent over the next 5 years.

The plan has been developed in partnership with frontline health and care staff, patients and their families. It will improve outcomes for major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and dementia.

The plan also includes measures to:

  • improve out-of-hospital care, supporting primary medical and community health services
  • ensure all children get the best start in life by continuing to improve maternity safety including halving the number of stillbirths, maternal and neonatal deaths and serious brain injury by 2025
  • support older people through more personalised care and stronger community and primary care services
  • make digital health services a mainstream part of the NHS, so that in 5 years, patients in England will be able to access a digital GP offer

I continue to meet with Ministers on issues relating to the local health service and look forward to working with the government to ensure the NHS delivers for my constituents.


Campaign: Fostering: Staying Put 

Since the introduction of Staying Put in 2014, young people in England have had the legal right to stay living with their former foster carers after they turn 18. I have received campaign emails from constituents asking the government to introduce a national minimum allowance for Staying Put to cover the cost of looking after a young person.

The Minister has outlined: 

The government keeps the Staying Put policy under constant review, including through monitoring data from local authorities on take-up by young people, engagement with the sector, and reviewing information from Ofsted inspections of local authorities. Staying Put was also considered as part of the independent fostering review undertaken by Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers, published in February 2018. Staying Put has helped thousands of care leavers to transition more smoothly from care to independence, and provides continuity of relationships and care arrangements. Latest data shows that in the year ending March 2018, 55% of 18 year olds chose to Stay Put – an increase of 4% on 2017.

The government does not believe that introducing a national minimum allowance for Staying Put carers is the right way forward. Unlike children in foster care, young people in Staying Put arrangements are adults and may be in work, or claiming benefits. These can be used to contribute to the cost of providing the Staying Put arrangement, in a similar way that young people who are still living at home with their parents may contribute to the cost of running the household. The current arrangements allow local authorities to consider all factors in relation to each local Staying Put arrangement, and to negotiate the amount that the carer receives on a case-by-case basis.