Cardiff’s children and young people cancer teams praised for their “fantastic work”

Deputy Minister for Health Vaughan Gething has praised the “fantastic” work of the children and young people cancer teams based at the University Hospital of Wales.

As part of the Welsh Government’s celebration of Universal Children’s Day, he toured the Regional Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Service for Children and Young People which is delivered from the Children’s Hospital for Wales. The service provides care for children with cancer and complex blood conditions from across South Wales.

University Hospital of Wales is also home to Wales’ only Teenage Cancer Trust unit, which was officially opened in 2008. The purpose-built unit has six inpatient beds and three day case beds for teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 25. To date it has looked after some 340 teenagers and young people with cancer from across South Wales and has up to 70 new referrals every year.

Around 80 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer, including leukaemia every year in South Wales. A further 150 new patients are referred to the oncology unit for non-malignant haematological conditions. Patients can have contact with the team at the unit for up to five years after active treatment has finished.

Dr Meriel Jenney, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist and Assistant Medical Director for Cancer welcomed the Deputy Minister to the Health Board:

“We are delighted to welcome the Deputy Minister to the Hospital to see the work and care provided for children with cancer and their families from across South Wales. We appreciate this recognition of the commitment of the whole clinical team – nurses, doctors and other health care professionals.”

The hospital also takes part in national and international research to improve the treatment of children’s cancer.

Mr Gething said:

“It is a privilege to visit these units and see the fantastic work the staff do day in, day out. They help children and young people, along with their families, through the incredibly difficulty experience of dealing with cancer. This is a great example of our commitment to the health of children in Wales and plays a crucial part in our drive to continue to improve cancer services for all ages.”

The United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.