A new clinic offering islanders the chance to be prescribed medicinal cannabis from local GPs is opening full-time at the Lido Medical Centre next month.
TMCC Jersey has been set up as a partnership between UK group, The Medical Cannabis Clinics, and local chemist, Reids Pharmacy.
The clinic has recruited the services of four local GPs – Dr Stevens, Dr Wilbourn, Dr Cocks and Dr Richards - who will be offering consultations for medical cannabis.
TMCC had previously been providing islanders access to medicinal cannabis through their clinics in the UK, but this will be the first time they have offered their services from a locally based centre.
As Express revealed in August, hundreds of islanders were turning to the UK clinics after being denied a prescription in Jersey.
In a move aimed at helping local sufferers of chronic pain and other conditions who felt they had exhausted all other treatment options, politicians voted in November 2018 in favour of a proposal from Deputy Montfort Tadier to allow GPs to prescribe medicinal cannabis.
But, nearly two years later, islanders have still been struggling locally to get their hands on the medicines.
Pictured: Dr Mark Wilbourn is one of the GPs who will be offering both face-to-face and online consultations.
The Jersey partnership will be the first to establish processes, obtain licensing and set measures for prescriptions to be available immediately, with no wait between appointments and the fulfilment of prescriptions.
The clinic is currently taking bookings, and will begin appointments and consultations both via video-link, or face-to-face with patients from 5th November.
Explaining how the influx in demand from the island led to the new clinic, Operations Manager Sophie Gamwell said: “In recent months, with such an expeditious boom in requests for consultations with our doctors at TMCC UK, and the demand for prescriptions to be fulfilled coming through at such a volume, the clinic and dispensary felt the strain.
Pictured: Sophie Gamwell, TMCC's Operations Manager, said that their UK clinics had been serving hundreds of islanders previously.
She added that this had led to “taking the step to link up with a local pharmacy and bring our specialist services to Jersey by way of a clinic and team of in-house, local doctors on the island.”
Speaking about the benefits of medicinal cannabis, clinic GP Dr Mark Wilbourn said: “I first saw cannabis transform the life of a patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was a first year medical student.
He continued: “it’s clear that cannabis is a powerful treatment that has been inappropriately vilified over many years. I have used it to treat patients before (Sativex) and seen very positive results. It’s clear cannabis has enormous potential to help an array of people for a vast range of illnesses and symptoms.”
Managing Director of Reids Pharmacy, Alastair Reid, also highlighted the various uses for the medicine, citing how it has been "proven to treat a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, spasms caused by neurological conditions and chronic pain, also nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy."
Pictured: Professor Mike Barnes is the Founder and President of the World Federation of Neurological Rehabilitation.
Similarly, Professor Mike Barnes, the Chair who has overseen the guidance and training of doctors within TMCC, emphasised the need for easy cannabis access for islanders, saying:
“It is really important that we offer our high level service and experience on island as there are many potential patients in Jersey who would be best served by a local practitioner and clinic rather than accessing the UK mainland services and clinics.
He added that “at this stage of the development of the medical cannabis industry, cooperation and collaboration is key. LYPHE Group are the leading experts in the field of medical cannabis and we look forward to providing Jersey with the access to quality care and service islanders deserve.”
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