By Aimee Hughes
Sapphire Medical Clinics (Sapphire Medical), the multi-award-winning medical cannabis clinic, is pleased to announce it has received Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) registration1, in a landmark move by Scottish regulators. Sapphire Medical is now the first medical cannabis clinic to be authorised to provide safe access to medical cannabis for patients in Scotland with initial appointments available from Monday 22nd of March.
In 2018 medical cannabis was rescheduled under UK law allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis-based medicines under certain circumstances. Cannabis-based medicines can be considered for a vast range of conditions including back pain, arthritis and anxiety, where patients have tried standard treatments with little symptom relief or an unsustainable level of side effects.
Leading the way in safely prescribing medical cannabis in the UK, Sapphire Medical was the first clinic to be granted approval by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to operate in England and serves thousands of patients. Since the COVID pandemic Sapphire has been able to provide telemedicine appointments to patients in England and the approval granted today by HIS allows both face-to-face and telemedicine consultations to be offered in Scotland too.
Sapphire Medical’s clinic is located in One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic2, in the Central Belt of Scotland in the city of Stirling. It is easily accessible to those living in Edinburgh, Glasgow and surrounding areas.
For patients whereby cost is a barrier, the Sapphire Access Scheme offers affordable consultations to patients who enrol in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, a clinical database set up to collect high quality data on treatment outcomes, side- effects and a range of health outcome metrics.
Susan Beckley, living in Forres, is waiting for an appointment at Sapphire Medical Clinics Scotland as she suffers with multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. Commenting on today’s announcement, “Now Scottish patients like myself can access legal medical cannabis with the peace of mind we are being treated by specialists within a HIS-regulated clinic. This option could be life changing for patients.”
Andie Connolly-Brown, 41 years old, lives in Edinburgh and suffers with complex PTSD and anxiety for which she has tried a range of conventional therapies. She commented on the announcement, “Having access to medical cannabis is a lifeline for me. Today’s news that Sapphire Medical Clinics are now registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland is timely, my anxiety in particular has been made worse by the Covid-19 lockdown so safe and affordable access to medical cannabis is welcome.”
Dr Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director of Sapphire Medical commented “We are delighted to be the first clinic to be registered with HIS, which is a testament to the robust clinical governance framework we have established in evaluating patients for treatment with medical cannabis. By capturing clinical outcomes through the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, we will significantly contribute to the evidence base and ultimately allow more patients to benefit from medical cannabis as a treatment option.”
1 Scottish law requires all independent clinics in Scotland to be registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) thereby ensuring all patients receive the highest possible quality of care. By receiving HIS registration, patients can expect the highest standards in quality and safety assurances in Sapphire Medical’s procedures and treatments.
2 One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic in Stirling is a multidisciplinary clinic offering a range of therapies and high standard holistic treatments. Medical cannabis consultations via Sapphire Medical will add to the list of therapies. The full clinic address is One Allan Park Wellbeing Clinic, 1 Allan Park, Stirling, FK8 2QG.