Learn About
Sapphire Medical Clinics

Our aim is to be trusted by healthcare professionals to enable us to support patients in a safe, responsive, reliable and effective way.

Formed by doctors for the mutual benefit of patients and healthcare professionals

Our aim is to enable access to medicinal cannabis for patients who will derive clinical benefit through consultation with expert doctors working within a framework approved by all relevant regulatory authorities.

Our internationally renowned and respected consultants will assess patients within their area of expertise and if another conventional therapy is available that will be tried first.

Sapphire Clinics Multidisciplinary Team

Dr Michael Platt

Dr Michael Platt MA MBBS FRCA FFPMRCA

Medical Director

Dr Platt has been a consultant and honorary senior lecturer in pain medicine and anaesthetics at Imperial College since 1991.

Following medical training in Australia, he undertook specialist training in anaesthetics and pain medicine in London. He is a professional and highly effective senior consultant in pain medicine and anaesthetics with over 23 years in senior clinical leadership and specialist roles. In his NHS practice he is a senior consultant at the Imperial Pain Clinic and is frequently referred complex patients from other specialists in the UK and abroad.

Professor Praveen Anand

MA MBBS FRCA FFPMRCA

Neurology / Neuropathic Pain (MDT only)

Professor Praveen Anand is Professor of Clinical Neurology and honorary Consultant Neurologist at Imperial College London.

His medical education was at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and post-graduate training at the Hammersmith Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. His research focuses on pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms in human sensory neuropathies and chronic pain syndromes and he has studied medicinal cannabis for approximately 20 years. He runs an integrated tertiary referral clinic evaluating patients with treatment resistant neuropathic pain.

Dr Mark Weatherall

MBBC, FRCP, PhD, MA

General Neurology

Dr Mark Weatherall is a Consultant Neurologist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Vice-Chair of the British Association for the Study of Headache and a former Trustee of the Migraine Trust. He was a highly regarded historian of medicine before studying clinical medicine at Selwyn College, Cambridge University. His clinical practice includes the treatment of headache, migraine, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and numerous other neurological disorders.

Dr Shaheen Khan

BSc, MSc, MBBS, FRCP

Palliative Care

Dr Shaheen Khan is a consultant in palliative medicine and lead clinician for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust …

community palliative care team, the training programme director for the King’s palliative medicine training scheme and the co-chair of the London Opioid Safety and Improvement Group. Dr Khan graduated from Guy’s, Kings’ and St Thomas’ Medical School, having also been awarded a first class honours degree in BSc Neuroscience and an MSc in palliative care from Kings’ College London. His clinical expertise is in complex symptom control and advance care planning.

Dr Jonathan Hoare

MA, FRCP, PhD

Gastroenterology / General Medicine

Dr Hoare is a consultant gastroenterologist and head of endoscopy for the Imperial College hospitals.

He trained at Cambridge University and St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1993. He undertook a PhD as an MRC research fellow in viral hepatitis and gene therapy from 1998 until 2001. His clinical practice encompasses all aspects of gastroenterology including inflammatory bowel disease and functional problems such as irritable bowel.

Dr James Rucker

MBBS, BSc, MRCPsych, PhD

Psychiatry

Dr Rucker is a Clinician Scientist (senior clinical lecturer level) at The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London …

and an honorary consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital, specialising in mood disorders, psychopharmacology and novel drug treatments combined with psychotherapy.

Dr Sushil Beri

MBBS, MD, DNB, MRCPCH

Paediatric Neurology

Dr Beri is a consultant paediatric neurologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

He has trained at various university and teaching hospitals across the UK and he undertook his general paediatric training at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Dr Beri sees young children and adolescents with all kinds of acute and chronic neurological disorders including childhood epilepsy, faints and funny turns, migraines and other headaches, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular and neurogenetic disorders.

Sapphire Consultants

Our growing team of Specialist Consultants expands beyond the Multi-Disciplinary Team and now includes the following clinicians. All of our doctors have been through an intense training program to equip them with the skills required to safely prescribe cannabis-based medicines.

Dr Mohammed Sajad

MA MBBS FRCA FFPMRCA

Pain Specialist

Dr. Sajad graduated in 2005 from Birmingham and, since 2016, has been working as a consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at the Dudley Group of Hospitals in the West Midlands.

After graduation, he undertook specialist Anaesthesia training in various hospitals across Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham with further specialisation in Pain Medicine. His currently serves as lead for the pain management programme and exam teaching for new trainee doctors at Dudley . Having completed a post graduate diploma in management of pain from the University of Edinburgh, he developed a keen interest in managing neuropathic pain including radicular back pain. In his current practice in the NHS, he sees a variety of pain disorders including Fibromyalgia, Post Herpetic Neuralgia, chronic regional pain syndrome and many more besides. He is an enthusiast in the role of Cannabinoids in chronic pain, particularly widespread pain.

Dr Azfer Usmani

MBBS, FRCA, FCARCSI, FFPMRCA

Pain Specialist

Dr. Azfer Usmani is presently working with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, Kent. He specializes in management of a wide array of chronic pain conditions using the latest techniques in pain management.

He is trained in South East England in pain medicine and anaesthetics. A part of his training was at the Guys & St. Thomas Hospital as well as St. George’s Hospital. He obtained the FRCA and FFPMRCA qualifications from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, UK.

Dr Kavita Praveen

MBBS, MRCPsych, AFMCP

Paediatric Psychiatry

Dr Kavita Praveen has extensive experience, expertise and passion in the field of Mental Health both within the National Health Service and Independent Sector.

She assesses and treats a range of emotional and developmental disorders including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, ADHD, ASD and other complex mental health disorders. She has specialism in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr Praveen is also a Functional Medicine Practitioner having completed AFMCP (Applied Function Medicine in Clinical Practice) from Institute of Functional Medicine.

Dr Ezzat Awad

MBBC, MRCP, Msc

General Neurology

Dr Ezzat Awad is a Neurology Consultant with special interest in Epilepsy and Functional Neurological Disorder at Mid and South Essex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Richard Watchorn

MB BCh BAO MD FRCP

Dermatology

Dr Watchorn is a Consultant Dermatologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

He undertook his postgraduate training in both Ireland and the UK, and was awarded his MD for research in lichen sclerosus undertaken as an EADV fellow at University College Hospital, London.
His clinical practice incorporates diverse areas of dermatology including pruritus (itch), inflammatory dermatology, genital dermatology and skin cancer.

Dr Anastasia Therianou

MD PhD

Dermatology

Dr Anastasia Therianou works as a Consultant Dermatologist at the world-renowned Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

She carried out dermatology specialist training in leading centres such as Saint John’s Institute of Dermatology and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She was awarded her PhD for her research in psoriasis which was a collaboration between Tuft’s University in Boston, USA and the University of Athens, Greece. Several of her research projects have appeared in top scientific journals.
She is experienced in various aspects of adult general dermatology including acne, eczema, psoriasis and pruritus. Additionally she has specialist interest in hair and nail disorders and skin cancers.

Dr. Mona Mubarak

M.B, Ch.B, FCARCSI, EDRA, EDAIC, DipPain (CAI), FIPP, FFPMCAI

Chronic Pain Consultant

Dr. Mubarak is a full time Consultant in Chronic Pain Management and Anaesthesia, whose NHS practice was based at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham. Dr. Mubarak completed her Anaesthesia and Basic Pain Training in 2014.

Upon completion of training, she joined the pain fellowship training program at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, completing in 2015. Training in Ireland and Sydney included chronic pain management using a holistic approach with rehabilitation for chronic pain problems. Sydney Teaching University Hospital is a tertiary pain referral centre for treating pelvic pain in women. With an interest to further her skills in pain management with intention to specialise in cancer pain and neuromodulation, Dr. Mubarak joined another pain fellowship program in Leeds in 2016. In 2017, Mubarak’s passion for pain management extended to the USA, where she completed the Fellowship of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP) examination.

Dr Wendy Holden

MBBS MSc FRCP DO

Consultant Rheumatologist

Dr Wendy Holden is a Consultant Rheumatologist in North Hampshire and has additional training in pain management with a particular interest in all aspects of self-management to help with arthritis and chronic pain.

Dr Holden sees patients with chronic painful conditions that are often difficult to treat with conventional medicines, including fibromyalgia and Ehlers Danlos syndrome Hypermobility Type as well as many other types of arthritis and painful conditions. Dr Wendy Holden is also Medical Advisor to Arthritis Action.

Dr Chris Symeon

MBBS, MSc, MRCPsych

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Symeon is a consultant psychiatrist specialising in the assessment and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders including functional neurological disorder (FND) and brain injury.

After qualifying from Barts and The London Medical School, he went on to complete his psychiatric training at South London and Maudsley (SLAM) and gain a masters in neuroscience from Kings College London.

He has an interest in digital health and innovation. He is currently working as a consultant neuropsychiatrist at St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Urmila Bhoskar

MBBS, MRCPsych

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Symeon is a consultant psychiatrist specialising in the assessment and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders including functional neurological disorder (FND) and brain injury.

She currently works in low secure mental health services at St Andrew’s Healthcare, which provides specialist care for people with challenging mental health needs. Dr Bhoska assess a range of emotional and developmental disorders including PTSD, Personality disorder, attachment disorders, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, ADHD, ASD and other complex mental health disorders. She is trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) and assessment of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).

Meet the Team

Evonne Clarke

BSc(Hons), MSc, IPresc

Pharmacist

Evonne has worked in the hospital pharmacy sector since qualifying in 1996 and has developed an interest in Pain Management whilst working in and leading the Medicines management service in the Surgical directorate where she also completed her prescribing qualifications in Acute pain. 

Evonne continued to work with the Multidisciplinary Pain team and moved into working with Chronic Pain patients 5 years ago, providing Pharmacist support and clinics in the Out Patient setting.

Suzy Petty

Clinic Coordinator

“From being a full time international hockey player, to now being part of a fast paced, innovative company. The world of medicinal cannabis is just getting started, and I can’t wait to see how many more people we can help at Sapphire, as this new area of medicine develops!”

Amy Abbott

Medical Secretary

“Every day at Sapphire we learn new things, and I love to be part of the ground-breaking research we do. It is very rewarding to support the patients through their journey and see them benefit from our help.”

Ben Lee

Full-Stack Software Developer

“I choose to work for Sapphire because of the dedication to the patient experience and our exceptional level of diligence in providing the appropriate medication to patients.”

Judith Kelly

Patient Coordinator

“I really enjoy getting to know our patients by speaking to them daily. Helping guide patients through our process and then seeing them reach their end goal of treatment is so rewarding.”

Emma Keillor

Patient Coordinator

“My favourite part of the job is bringing the experience I have in customer service and implementing that in to what I do for the patients at Sapphire. When I hear a patient say thank you for the service they are receiving and what a difference it is making to their lives, it’s really rewarding.”

Managing Director and Academic Lead for Sapphire Medical Clinics, Dr Mikael Sodergren, explains why we set up Sapphire Medical Clinics

He explores the uses of medical cannabis, describing its applications and discusses the future of cannabinoid research in the short and long-term.

Events

On the 29th October 2019, we held our first medical education event at the RSM (Royal Society of Medicine). We received over 400 registrations and were joined on the night by GPs, Hospital Consultants and interested parties.

Speakers included:

  • Dr Zeid Mohamedali MD, PhD, FRCSC: Chief Medical Officer, Zenabis Global and Adult and Paediatric Urology, British Columbia
  • Dr Peter Irving MA MD MRCP: Consultant Gastroenterologist, Guys and St Thomas Hospital London
  • Dr Amir Englund: PhD Cannabinoid Psychopharmacology, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
  • Professor Praveen Anand MD., M.R.C.P., F.R.C.P: Professor of Neurology, Imperial College London

Structure of the Clinic

Make an Appointment

Patients seeking an appointment to discuss treatment with medical cannabis can complete our assisted referral form. Eligible patients can provide us with their healthcare records or we can obtain these through their GP.

Consultation

Each patient will be assessed by one of our expert consultants in the area of your illness. The consultation will last 40 minutes. There will be no incentives for doctors to approve cannabis prescriptions.

Prescription

Every prescription will be agreed upon by our Multidisciplinary Team and signed off by our Medical Director. We will endeavour to deliver the medicine to the patient without delay, via our partners.

What legal changes have been made?

On 1st November 2018 the law in the UK was changed regarding medicinal cannabis. The change was to the Misuse of Drugs regulations 2001. Medical cannabis was re-scheduled from a schedule 1 drug (this means of no medical benefit) to a schedule 2 drug (this allows doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis in certain situations).

In practice this means that some patients who have exhausted conventional therapies are able to receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis. Only doctors on the specialist register of the GMC are authorised to prescribe cannabis medications, and satisfy the the guidelines issued by GMC, NHS England and MHRA.

Sapphire Medical Clinics is the first UK medical cannabis clinic registered by the CQC

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