Department confirms Billy Caldwell can receive cannabis oil in Northern Ireland
The Department of Health has confirmed Billy Caldwell will be able to receive his cannabis oil medication in Northern Ireland.
The 12-year-old and his mother have been living in London after battling to have permission granted for the treatment, which is used for Billy's severe epilepsy.
Last month a 20-day emergency licence was granted for Billy after he was admitted to hospital in a critical condition having suffered multiple seizures.
After initially refusing, the Home Office rubber-stamped a special exemption licence to allow his mother to administer the THC-based cannabis oil required to keep his seizures under control.
On Thursday Northern Ireland's Department of Health released an update on Billy Caldwell's situation.
A spokesperson said the Department had received an emergency licence application from Belfast Trust clinicians to use medicinal cannabis on Wednesday.
"An emergency licence has today been issued by the Department, replicating the licence issued last month by the Home Office for treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London," the said.
"We have also been in discussions with the Home Office to finalise arrangements for the immediate transportation of Billy’s medicine from London to the Belfast Trust."
Billy Caldwell and his mother Charlotte are expected to arrive at Belfast City Airport on Thursday afternoon, with a press conference planned for the evening.
Charlotte Caldwell said earlier the captain of the flight from London to Belfast would be given secure custody of her son's medication, with it being handed to officials from the Department of Health upon landing in Belfast.
Belfast Telegraph Digital