Disabled man, 30, loses NHS sex therapy prescription for intimate sessions

A wheelchair-bound man has had his NHS prescriptions taken away after his sex sessions were seen not seen as a "good use of taxpayers’ cash".

Thomas Williams, who has autism and cerebral palsy, has been left without an intimate relationship for most of his adult life due to the 24-hour care he requires.

Speaking to The Times, the 30-year-old said he was granted £23 a week by the NHS for sex therapy as part of his personal health budget.

Mr Williams’ request was granted by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) with a £255,000 package, which included his 24-hour care and sex therapy.

The Staffordshire disability consultant argued that he wanted to explore his sexuality and argued it was his human right to do so.

Mr Williams said: "There is a lot of stigma around being sexual and being disabled.

"I didn’t really see the interaction between boyfriend and girlfriend as something I could have."

Following an assessment, the NHS agreed the sex sessions could benefit Mr Williams and help reduce his pain and help his muscles relax.

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With the funding, Williams contacted sex therapist Sue Newsome, 60, for personal sessions in 2017 and later explored self-pleasure and the use of sex toys.

In 2018, Ms Newsome referred Mr Williams to a "sexological bodyworker" and he later lost his virginity to surrogate Berverlee Lewis.

Ms Lewis and Mr Williams explored many positions during their time together but they would also create a relationship experience where they would have dinner and engage in hand-holding.

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However, in April 2021, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCG pulled the funding for Mr Williams’ sessions stating it was "not appropriate" in the updated policy.

The decision is now being appealed by justice secretary Robert Buckland QC with Mr Williams also planning to appeal.

He said: "The money in itself isn’t what makes it legitimate.

"But funding it as a medical need allowed me to see it in the same way as I would a surgical procedure or a tablet. It’s a medical need and a necessity."

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