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The National Health Service

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:33 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Tonia Antoniazzi Tonia Antoniazzi Labour, Gower 6:33 pm, 23rd October 2019

I absolutely agree with the right hon. Gentleman.

I made a personal choice to go to the Netherlands with some of the parents to pick up the cannabis they need for their children—parents such as Emma Appleby who has a prescription for her daughter, Teagan, that costs thousands of pounds. She can afford to fly to the Netherlands to get the prescription because it costs less over there. The Government have created a two-tier system. Parents are forced to fundraise for medicines. One mother has put her house up for sale to pay for the next round of drugs. These families have run out of time, run out of money and run out of patience. All 20 families will go on hunger strike because they are at the end of the line.

I will move on swiftly. On 19 September, six months after the Secretary of State had made his promises, the families were continuing to fight for their kids. They took a bill to the Secretary of State showing the money they had spent on their private prescriptions, and they have delivered letters to the Prime Minister begging him to do something, but they have been ignored. They have not had a response, and that is absolutely disgraceful.

These families are being pushed to the end of their tether, and I honestly believe that it is time for the Secretary of State either to consider his position or to get this sorted. As a mother, if I was faced with this inaction, I would be fighting and fighting to get these life-saving drugs from the NHS—for free. I would be doing everything I could, and that is why I will continue to do everything I can to help these children who are needlessly suffering. I will raise this at every opportunity, and I will not stop until we have the good news that we need.