Velindre Cancer Centre must be re-considered says Plaid spokesperson

THE plans for a new Velindre Cancer Centre should be re-considered according to Plaid Cymru’s Health spokesperson.
The current proposals for a new Velindre Centre propose a new purpose-built stand-alone centre in Whitchurch’s Northern Meadows.

However, in an opinion piece for WalesOnline Mabon ap Gwynfor MS argues that such a plan would likely be detrimental to cancer patients and that instead a cancer centre should be co-located next door to an acute hospital with access to ITU with smaller satellite units developed in the region.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said:

“The need for a new Velindre Cancer Centre is undeniable. But current plans not only sacrifice valuable green space, but they won’t deliver the service required by cancer patients of today nor in the future given the rapid changes to cancer research and treatment.

“Re-thinking existing proposals and co-locating the centre would promote numerous collaboration between oncologists, surgeons and researchers, allow satellite units closer to patients across South Wales to provide superior patient care, and preserve Cardiff’s green space.

“There is only one other large stand-alone specialist cancer unit that I am aware of in the UK, and that is the Beatson in Glasgow, and they are having to shift patients across the city via ambulances if they need access to ITU for instance. This is recognised as a planning mistake and we should learn from this and not repeat it.”

Plans to replace Velindre Cancer Hospital, established in 1956, and build a stand-alone centre on Cardiff’s Northern Meadows have long sparked controversy due to both environmental concerns and doubts that the new centre would not meet the needs of a fast-evolving care service.

In 2020, 30 senior members of clinical staff within Velindre raised concerns about the proposed ‘stand-alone’ clinical model would ‘not meet key requirements of the modern, world-class, comprehensive cancer centre that the population of South East Wales deserve’.
Writing for WalesOnine Mabon ap Gwynfor argues that the current proposals would hinder world class research opportunities, saying, “Not only will the ‘stand-alone’ model put patients at greater danger but it will also hamper Cardiff’s ability to be at the forefront of cutting-edge cancer research.”
Mr ap Gwynfor also argues that increasing cancer care and the changing nature of cancer care requires a different model to that which is currently proposed: “When you consider that the number of people requiring treatment is expected to increase significantly over the coming years then it would make sense to provide as much treatment as possible closer to where they live, with the acutely ill patients visiting the central Velindre hub with access to critical care and novel therapies.”

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS is a member of National & European Parliamentarians for Cancer Action which is a political grouping formed by the European Cancer Organisation.


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