Letter from The Earl of Sandwich to Anne Milton MP, Health Minister (9 July 2010)

House of Commons Portcullis

H O U S E   OF   C O M M O N S

APPGITA – All Party Parliamentary Group for
Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction

House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

July 9, 2010

Rt. Hon Anne Milton MP
Minister of State
Department of Health
Richmond House, 79 Whitehall
London SW1A 2NS

Dear Anne,

I am writing to support Jim Dobbin’s letter to you of 6th July requesting funding for CITA in Liverpool and other organisations helping patients suffering from involuntary tranquilliser addiction. As Jim has said, CITA provides a unique service to thousands of patients, providing medication advice, training courses for doctors and a national help-line. And yet it is in serious financial difficulty, depending mainly on volunteers, and receives no official funding.

As I wrote to Gillian Merron on 17th December last year, a member of my family is going through terrible withdrawal from the prescribed drugs clonazepam and citalopram, and his main source of support has been Pam Armstrong of CITA. You can imagine the pain and distress that this has caused him, his wife and children, and all the family, over the last 18 months. During this time he has received no help from the health services, since there are none.

You may know that I have a question for short debate which may come up in the Lords during the next fortnight. I shall of course draw attention to the important review of prescribed drugs that is taking place. But my primary intention is to highlight the work that is going on now at CITA and elsewhere. As Jim says, support for these embryonic initiatives now will surely help the government to develop the NHS services that are inevitably going to be needed after the review is complete. I am sure you will know that the Department is well aware of these initiatives and has already benefited itself from CITA’s work.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Earl of Sandwich

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