A NEW service to improve the care of acutely ill cancer patients in Cwm Taf University Health Board’s area has been officially launched today (26.10.15).
Macmillan Cancer Support has invested £514,696 in the health board’s Acute Oncology Service, providing specialist support for cancer patients in emergency situations and hospital.
The team is specially trained to provide care and advice for cancer patients who find themselves in hospital due to complications and side effects of their treatment, or are diagnosed with cancer after being admitted to hospital.
The service will support those with severe side effects from radiotherapy or chemotherapy, such as an infection or uncontrolled sickness, as well as people who are diagnosed with cancer after being seen at hospital.
The service will help reduce the need for some patients to be admitted to hospital and help those who are admitted to return home sooner.
Karen Wingfield, Macmillan Acute Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “This is an innovative and exciting development to be part of which will improve the patient's experience of cancer beyond the cancer centre.”
Susan Morris, Macmillan Cancer Support Head of Services for Wales, said: “Macmillan is delighted to have funded this new service working in partnership with Cwm Taf University Health Board to improve urgent care for cancer patients in hospital.
“People with cancer may need emergency care for many reasons, including severe side effects from their cancer or their treatment.
“This important service will mean that cancer patients who are very unwell in Cwm Taf can access the specialist treatment they need sooner, which will improve their overall care and experience.”
Dr Amit Benjamin, consultant physician and clinical lead for the Acute Oncology Service at Cwm Taf said: “This year 130,000 patients across Wales are living with and beyond cancer. This number is set to double by 2030.
“Our new Acute Oncology Service will help us rise to that challenge and enable us to provide a faster, more effective service for our patients.”
The service will also support patients who arrive at hospital as a result of their cancer affecting their spines, a condition called metastatic spinal cord compression.
It will enable them to be identified and assessed by the right specialist and team more quickly, and which aims to reduce the risk of permanent damage to their spines.