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Medical cannabis clinic responds following “disappointing” CQC inspection

Bosses at one of the UK’s leading medical cannabis clinics have committed to making changes.



Medical cannabis clinic responds following “disappointing” CQC inspection
The clinic currently prescribes cannabis to thousands of patients in the UK

Bosses at one of the UK’s leading medical cannabis clinics have committed to making changes, following a “disappointing” CQC rating this week. 

Following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March this year, The Medical Cannabis Clinics (TMCC) has been rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by the body.

The clinic, which currently prescribes cannabis to thousands of patients across the UK, was rated as ‘Good’ at its last inspection in 2021.

In a report published on Wednesday 8 June, the CQC outlined a number of areas where inspectors deemed legal requirements were not being met in relation to patient care.

This included instances where patients were being prescribed medicines for longer than 30 days at a time, with no MDT review taken, and some key information missing from consultation notes, such as what the patient was being treated for.

Also reported was that the clinic’s policies around prescribing cannabis medicines did not cover “important operational aspects”, as well as a “lack of transparency” with patients regarding “pharmacy choice”.

The CQC rated the leadership of services as “inadequate“, believing that there were not “effective processes in place to assess the competencies of staff” in order to plan “appropriate training and development.”

However, since the inspection took place, TMCC says it has welcomed a number of new team members in an effort to “bolster” its leadership team, including new medical director, Dr Luisa Searle.

In a statement to Cannabis Health, bosses said they were “disappointed” with the latest findings and committed to dedicating the team’s time and resources to “strengthen” services in line with the changes outlined by the CQC.

A spokesperson for TMCC said: ”Following CQC awarding The Medical Cannabis Clinics (TMCC) a ‘Good’ rating in 2021, we are extremely disappointed that they have now rated our services as ‘Requires Improvement’. The accompanying report did however list many positive findings that clearly meet the CQC criteria for a ‘Good’ rating, which we will continue to build on.

“We shall continue to hold ourselves to the very highest of standards, and dedicate our time and resources to make the suggested changes to strengthen the service we provide to our valued patients.

“Since the CQC inspected us in March this year, TMCC has welcomed Dr Luisa Searle as medical director, and bolstered the medical leadership team with Dr David Tang as associate medical director. As well as this we are pleased to welcome Kieron Heath as director of patient services, and Helen Gale as the new registered manager.”

Since it launched following the legalisation of medical cannabis in 2018, TMCC, which is owned by Lyphe Group, has played a major part in allowing thousands of patients to access medical cannabis in the UK.

The statement continued: “We are the largest cannabis clinic in the UK, with thousands of happy patients passing through our clinic monthly, and our service continues as normal.

“We remain completely focused on getting vital cannabis medicine to our patients, so they can live better, fuller lives.”

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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