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The National Health Service

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:32 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North 5:32 pm, 23rd October 2019

Having had a long four-and-a-bit hour vigil in the Chamber, I have not had chance to see that, but I certainly will. That is the picture up and down the country, including in Nottingham. The key thing is that as well as being absolutely dreadful for the individuals affected, it is terrible for the system not to have those good, often early, interventions on drugs and alcohol. If we let those things spiral, the impact on the individual and the costs related to the system grow exponentially. These are really bad value choices and we could do much better on public health.

I will finish with a point about cannabis on prescription. We have had important conversations on this today, and it is good that both Sir Mike Penning and my hon. Friend Tonia Antoniazzi are here. Their leadership on this has been absolutely crucial. I heeded what the right hon. Gentleman said about how to describe it, and I changed my speech from saying “medicinal cannabis” to “cannabis on prescription” as a result. I have had a case in my constituency, as many have, with a very, very frustrated parent who could not understand why their child did not fit the criteria.