June 26, 2018. 

The first day of the rest of the lives of hundreds of children with epilepsy is in the hands of the Government's much anticipated expert panel of clinicians which is expected to be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, June 26, 2018.

Charlotte Caldwell, mother of Billy, whose anti-epileptic seizure medication was confiscated at Heathrow Airport sixteen days ago, says this is an historic opportunity to completely change the lives of children and families impacted by epilepsy.

Charlotte Caldwell said: "This will be the first day of the rest of many lives. The positive impact of the modernisation of medicinal cannabis legislation cannot be underestimated.

"It is therefore absolutely crucial that the panel members, their expertise and their remit is exacting and relevant as it can possibly be.

"We therefore have seven questions which must be answered directly and convincingly. There is absolute no room for uncertainty."

Those questions are:

1. When will the expert panel start assessments?

2. How qualified are the panel members regarding use of medical cannabis ? 

3. How long will the new application process take? 

4. How much will it cost? 

5. How many applications does the panel expect to approve? 

6. What guidance will be offered to GP’s who have no experience or knowledge of medical cannabis?

7. Will children in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland be eligible to be assessed by the expert panel?

Charlotte added: "The fast and decisive work of the Government in responding to the issue of modernisation of medicinal cannabis legislation must not be wasted. Momentum must be maintained. Every day of delay means hundreds of children have thousands of seizures, many life-threatening. Treatment for all is touching distance. The agony, in every sense, can be addressed."