Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Powys AMs support Tenovus showcase Mobile Cancer Support Unit

Powys Liberal Democrats Kirsty Williams AM and Mick Bates AM have given their support for the Tenovus Mobile Cancer Support Unit, which parked up at the doors of the National Assembly for Wales to welcome Assembly Members on board and raise awareness of the services it delivers across Wales.

Tenovus, Wales’ leading cancer charity, launched the Mobile Cancer Support Unit nine months ago and has so far had 3,000 people on board in 24 locations across Wales. Innovatively designed to deliver cancer services to patients, it is a World’s first, bringing care and support to people in their communities in the form of chemotherapy, practical advice on welfare rights, bereavement support and counselling, health awareness and nutritional advice.

Commenting, Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates states:

“It is a sad fact that each day 46 people in Wales will be told they have cancer. Of that number, 64% of all newly diagnosed cancers occur in people aged 65 years or more, so in rural areas like Montgomeryshire where we have a much older and less mobile population, improving access to primary health care is crucial.

“Against the backdrop of a poor infrastructure and a longer journey to access services, we must look at innovative ways of delivering key services in rural areas to address these growing needs. The Mobile Cancer Support Unit offers an excellent model to provide for an equitable service to rural areas, providing care, support and information as well as treatment at times and locations convenient to patients.”

Brecon and Radnorshire AM, Kirsty Williams, said:

"After months of discussions with Tenovus about the mobile unit it was great to finally get on board and see this amazing bus first hand. The unit is an incredible facility and is very different to what would be expected of a medical treatment centre - it is a much more comforting and relaxed setting, which truly benefits patients going through a very traumatic time. I am determined that Powys benefits from this great provision - even more so now that I have seen it first hand.

“It is terrible that between 2003 and 2007 only 7 of the 671 Powys residents needing chemotherapy received it in county and that the majority of patients had to across the border, travelling on average a 75 mile round trip. The mobile clinic addresses many of the particular challenges facing health provision in rural areas such as ours and I will be working with stakeholders and Tenovus to find ways to fund such a service in Powys."

Claudia McVie, Chief Executive of Tenovus said:

“We are delighted to take the mobile unit to the National Assembly for Wales. It will give Assembly Members an opportunity to see for themselves the breadth of services we offer. At a very difficult time for patients, the mobile unit takes the extra strain of accessing treatment for patients that can involve making long distance journeys, which can be tiring and difficult. It has proved to be an invaluable support service for the patients that use the facility.

“Tenovus is the first to deliver this service to patients, we have single handedly raised the funds for the Mobile Unit and have received excellent feedback from patients and nurses who deliver the services on board. We currently bring care, support and treatment to patients along the M4 corridor; some are in the hardest to reach areas. Tenovus hope to increase the number of units on the road to reach those in rural areas and target Mid and North Wales too, perhaps one day we will have a fleet caring for patients in their communities.”


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