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Faceup Cymru is helping to fund Tenovus Cancer Care’s Mobile Support Unit to deliver treatments for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB’s patients with head and neck cancer.
Faceup Cymru, a charity set up by patients and aided by healthcare professionals, supports people who are managing and coming to terms with the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer.
Wales-based charity, Tenovus Cancer Care, offers a range of services to support people affected by cancer. The charity has three Mobile Support Units, which travel across Wales to bring cancer treatments closer to home.
Working in partnership with local health boards, the Mobile Support Units deliver treatments including lymphoedema, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The Units set up in local car parks, supermarkets, and community venues to limit the stress and cost involved with travelling miles to hospital.
This funding allows Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB’s multidisciplinary team (MDT) to host weekly clinics for head and neck cancer patients on board a Mobile Support Unit in McArthurGlen, Bridgend.
A clinical nurse specialist, dietitian, and speech and language therapist attend the clinic, which runs from 08:30 to 16:30 on Fridays. Patients and their families can be seen at any point following their cancer diagnosis and are offered the opportunity to attend sessions for nursing management, nutritional assessment and advice, swallowing and communication needs, as well as general support and reassurance.
Currently, access to the clinic is available by appointment only. However, Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB is looking to trial ‘drop in’ slots on the Unit for people to receive advice or support at short notice, and to reinstate educational groups from which patients have previously benefitted.
Allen Brown went to the Unit for check-ups following treatment at Velindre Hospital for throat cancer.
He said: “Going to the “caravan,” as we call it, was brilliant in every single way. Not having to go into hospital made all the difference to me, and was all so convenient, situated just up the road, and close to the shops.
Inside, the Unit was warm and welcoming, and the nurses were caring, truly amazing people, going above and beyond, and making visits more fun than they should have been! It seems a strange thing to say, but I really looked forward to my visits.
The whole experience was made far less daunting than I ever thought, and I’m grateful to all who made that possible, with a special shout out to the nurses who were absolutely first class.”
Mike Fardy, Faceup Cymru, said: “Faceup was founded over 20 years ago to provide support, both spiritually as well as materially, across Cardiff and Vale and Cwm Taf. We have funded various allied health professionals to assist in the care of our patients but, as in all walks of life, we need to evolve and look at different ways to support our patients.
“This collaboration is extremely exciting as it enables the patients to be seen outside the confines of the hospital setting and also to have access to the unique expertise that Tenovus Cancer Care offers. We are delighted to be able to support this venture and would welcome collaboration with all health boards.”
Judi Rhys MBE, Chief Executive of Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “We are thrilled to be able to continue our collaboration with Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s head and neck team and are extremely grateful to Faceup Cymru for making this possible.
“The clinic has been running for several years, wholly funded by us, but the cost had made the future uncertain. Thanks to Faceup Cymru’s support, we can continue to deliver vital cancer treatments in the heart of the community - partnership working at its best.”
Lisa Love-Gould, Director of Therapies at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very excited to receive this funding, which will allow us to continue our work. We have been working on the Unit for over six years, which both we and the clients have found to be a less formal and more relaxed environment. The setting is ideal – local to many, with easy transport links and the opportunity to get out and about. We would like to thank Faceup Cymru and Tenovus Cancer Care for the hard work that they do, which has helped to provide this amazing opportunity.”