Mum’s real wig plea for daughter who suffers from alopecia

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The mum of a little girl who suffers from alopecia is angry that the NHS will not provide a “real hair wig” for her daughter.

Mrs Vicky Kibble, from Colne, said the acrylic wig provided by the NHS irritates her 11-year-old daughter Charley’s head.

And she is worried about the psychological impact it will have when her daughter starts secondary school in September.

The Clinical Commissioning Group for the NHS in Lancashire said in a letter to Mrs Kibble that it “defines exceptionality solely in clinical terms. Personal, social or psychological factors will not be taken into consideration”.

But Mrs Kibble (36) argues that alopecia, especially in children, causes as much psychological suffering as physical.

She said: “Charley has suffered from alopecia since she was five-years-old.

“She started wearing wigs about two years ago. A charity called the Little Princess Trust paid for the natural wigs for us at first, which was great.

“Sadly, now that Charley is 11 we have to buy our own, but a natural hair wig costs £1,800.

“Charley needs two wigs a year so it’s obviously a lot of money.

“The acrylic wigs the NHS provide make her itch and move, and really irritate Charley’s skin.

“I’m primarily concerned because she is going to high school this time and I want her to feel as comfortable as possible.

“The real hair wigs can be styled and obviously look much more natural.”

A spokesman for the CCG said: “Patients who need to, can access the NHS service from East Lancashire Hospitals Trust where they can choose between acrylic and human hair, bespoke wigs.

“Unfortunately there will be occasions when individuals wish to obtain a more expensive option that isn’t available on the National Health Service.

“While we empathise with anyone in this situation, we believe that the NHS service is a suitable option and as such we cannot fund more expensive options available elsewhere.

“The policy for individual funding requests does not take into account personal, social or psychological factors as the decision has to be based on clinical need and clinical priority.”