New pal­lia­tive care unit plan is ap­proved

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - MARK SMITH mark.smith@waleson­

PLANS to de­velop a mul­ti­mil­lion-pound cen­tre for peo­ple need­ing end-of-life care have been ap­proved.

Macmil­lan Cancer Sup­port and Cwm Taf Univer­sity Health Board have been given the go-ahead to build a spe­cial­ist pal­lia­tive care unit at the Royal Glam­or­gan Hospi­tal near Llantrisant.

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Bor­ough Coun­cil ap­proved the health board’s plans at a de­vel­op­ment con­trol com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Macmil­lan plans to do­nate £5m to de­velop the state-of-the-art unit – its big­gest sin­gle in­vest­ment in Wales – with Cwm Taf con­tribut­ing the fur­ther £1.75m sub­ject to ap­proval of a busi­ness case by the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Health, Well­be­ing and Sport.

The spe­cial­ist eight-bed unit will pro­vide in­pa­tient, out­pa­tient and day pal­lia­tive care and sup­port for peo­ple with in­cur­able cancer and other con­di­tions.

De­signed by ar­chi­tects who spe­cialise in pal­lia­tive care, it aims to pro­vide a “warm, com­fort­able and wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment” for peo­ple re­ceiv­ing treat­ment there and their loved ones.

Macmil­lan says the unit will fea­ture com­mu­nal spa­ces for pa­tients and their fam­ily mem­bers and each room will have a pri­vate screened ter­race, mean­ing pa­tients can go out­side if they wish to.

Pal­lia­tive care for cancer pa­tients in Rhondda and Taff Ely is cur­rently pro­vided at Y Bwthyn Pon­typridd Cot­tage Hospi­tal.

Al­though the qual­ity of care at Y Bwthyn is known to be ex­cel­lent, its lo­ca­tion means that pa­tients need to be trans­ferred to Royal Glam­or­gan Hospi­tal to ac­cess spe­cial­ist tests and treat­ments, which can be dif­fi­cult and dis­tress­ing.

Sim­i­larly, some pa­tients who go to Royal Glam­or­gan Hospi­tal may ben­e­fit from be­ing in a pal­lia­tive care en­vi­ron­ment, but are too un­well to be trans­ferred to Y Bwthyn.

Su­san Mor­ris, head of ser­vices for Macmil­lan Cancer Sup­port in Wales, said: “Macmil­lan is thrilled that our plans with Cwm Taf to build a spe­cial­ist pal­lia­tive care unit – our big­gest in Wales – have been ap­proved.

“This new unit will pro­vide a wel­com­ing and homely en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple re­ceiv­ing pal­lia­tive care and their loved ones, and will make a huge dif­fer­ence to their ex­pe­ri­ence of treat­ment and care.”

Dr Ian Back, con­sul­tant in pal­lia­tive medicine at Cwm Taf Univer­sity Health Board, said: “The new state-of-the-art spe­cial­ist unit will be de­signed to pro­vide pa­tients with the high-qual­ity care they need in a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for both them and their loved ones.

“Build­ing the new unit at Royal Glam­or­gan Hospi­tal will also en­sure that pa­tients have ac­cess to spe­cial­ist tests and treat­ment more eas­ily with­out the need for un­nec­es­sary trans­fers be­tween hos­pi­tals when they are of­ten too un­well.”

John Palmer, di­rec­tor of pri­mary, com­mu­nity and men­tal health ser­vices at Cwm Taf Univer­sity Health Board, said: “We are de­lighted that these plans have been ap­proved and that we can con­tinue to build on our ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship with Macmil­lan Cancer Sup­port.

“The plan is for this unit to have a world-class ad­di­tion to our rapidly de­vel­op­ing pal­lia­tive care ser­vice.”

Macmil­lan and Cwm Taf an­nounced their plans to de­velop a new unit of­fer­ing spe­cial­ist pal­lia­tive care at the Royal Glam­or­gan Hospi­tal in the new year.

It is hoped that prepara­tory work for the build will start in the au­tumn and that the build­ing will open in 2019.

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