Call for justice and equality of care for patients treating themselves with cannabis

In November 2019, a new patient advocacy organisation called Cannabis Patient Advocacy & Support Services (CPASS) launched at The Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

In 2018, the UK Home Office and Department for Health and Social Care took the decision to legalise and regulate cannabis for medicinal use. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has proactively sought to support these changes. CPASS will focus on support and care for patients considering cannabis for medicinal treatment and their carers.

CPASS will champion the rights of patients, parents, carers and nurses, offering advocacy, training and education as well as support guided by an advisory board of expert clinicians across all pertinent disciplines and patient ambassadors. Medicinal cannabis is being considered by the medical community for conditions such as drug-resistant epilepsy, MS, neuropathic pain and chemotherapyinduced nausea and vomiting, and many leading researchers have shown indications of broader use beyond these conditions.

For all of these chronic conditions, nurses are at the centre of patient care. CPASS is calling out to clinical nurse specialists, offering support and training to be able to deliver the best care for patients. Patients considering medicinal cannabis will have a platform to ask questions specific to their conditions, and also raise concerns they may have over how to use CBMPs. CPASS aims to offer non-judgemental and confidential advice for patients to alleviate concerns over safe consumption and how to use medicinal cannabis and have published a Patient Guide which you can register for and download from their website at www.cannpass.org

CPASS will be developing accredited educational tools for front-line healthcare workers and professionals, whilst fostering a supportive network of nurses and carers to help them discuss and guide patients about medicinal cannabis.