HEALTH Minister Vaughan Gething has set out his vision for cutting edge precision medicine to improve health and deliver a sustainable future for NHS Wales.
During, a visit to the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport, Mr Gething announced new strategies to transform pathology and precision therapeutics in Wales.
He said: “To address future challenges from the increasing burden of disease we must focus more on prevention, early detection and personalised targeted treatments. Precision medicine will increasingly support a more personalised approach to health and care.
“In Wales, we are already making progress in the field of precision medicine and I am confident that we can be a global player in the race to harness its potential. NHS Wales is on the cusp of realising the significant benefits that can be delivered by advances in precision medicine for patients by offering the right test or treatment at the right time.
“Our long term plan ‘A Healthier Wales’ recognises the importance of moving towards earlier detection and intervention to prevent illness and prolong independence.”
One of the first patients in the UK to receive high-energy proton beam therapy has today praised UK oncologists for embracing proton beam therapy and the transformative effects it has had on his treatment.
Ryan Scott, 23, from Cardigan in Wales, underwent treatment for a brain tumour (grade 1 craniopharyngioma) at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales in Newport as part of NHS Wales’ proton beam therapy treatment pathway for adults.
Ryan Scott said: “I was very pleased when my consultant recommended proton beam therapy and told me that it was available close to home in South Wales. I was due to be treated with proton beam therapy over the course of eight weeks in the United States, a disruption I was not looking forward to. Happily, however, the agreement between NHS Wales and the Rutherford Cancer Centres was struck just in time for me to be treated a short drive from home.
“The process of undergoing proton beam therapy was much better than anticipated. There have been hardly any side effects and being able to sleep in my bed after a day’s treatment is a real plus.”
Mr Gething explained the Welsh Government had a clear vision for harnessing technology to deliver precision medicine in diagnostics and therapy that will ensure a sustainable future for NHS Wales.
“The Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport, which was the first facility in the UK to offer proton beam therapy for cancer patients, is an excellent example of the development of new cancer therapies, here in Wales. It’s a perfect illustration of how we are working collaboratively to deliver technological innovations to improve treatment,” he said.
“Today I have published our Statement of Intent for Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products, which sets out how we will deliver precision therapeutics, like new cell therapies, in Wales.
“Alongside this, I have published a Statement of Intent to transform pathology services. All this builds on our recent investment in diagnostic services such as the new Imaging Academy for Wales.
“In this financial year, I am pleased to provide additional funding of £2.3m to support the delivery of new genetic tests together with a further £2m to support national plans for transforming diagnostic, health science and advanced therapeutic medical services in NHS Wales.”
Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, also attended today’s official opening.
The centre is part of a nationwide network that provides state-of-the-art cancer services including imaging, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and high energy proton beam therapy.
The Newport centre was recently approved by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) to provide high energy proton beam therapy to adult patients referred from the NHS in Wales, the centre also treated the first patient in the UK with proton beam therapy in April last year.
Mike Moran, chief executive of Proton Partners International which operates the Rutherford Cancer Centres, said: “It is gratifying to see UK oncologists becoming increasingly aware of proton therapy and embracing the treatment. Our collaborative partnership with the NHS in Wales means that adult patients have an option to be treated closer to home.”
“I am delighted by the support we have received from the Health Minister, the Welsh Government, the Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund and the NHS in Wales which has meant that Wales has been the pioneer in proton beam therapy in the UK. Patient demand is increasing and it is encouraging that the UK is beginning to catch up with Europe in the provision of this therapy.”
Lord Lieutenant visits Mass Vaccination Centre
Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sarah Edwards, has paid tribute to all those involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme during a visit to the Y Ffwrness Mass Vaccination Centre in Llanelli.
During the visit on Wednesday 9th June she was joined by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr.Jonathan Gravell. They met and spoke to the centre’s vaccinators, NHS staff, security staff and volunteers.
To date, the collective efforts of mass vaccination centres, GP practices and community pharmacies in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, have resulted in the Hywel Dda University Health Board delivering over 431,850 vaccinations. This means 266,785 of the eligible population have now received a first vaccine, and 165,056 have received both doses.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed said: “It was wonderful to see first-hand the incredible work being undertaken by the vaccinators, NHS staff and volunteers. They have played a crucial role in the success of the vaccine rollout programme. I would also pay tribute to the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to getting vaccinated.”
Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the health board, I was delighted to welcome Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr Jonathan Gravell. I am deeply proud of everyone involved in the vaccination programme and I’m glad they got to see for themselves the incredibly work being undertaken to help get us through this pandemic.”
GP practices thanked for Covid-19 vaccine efforts
Hywel Dda University Health Board is thanking primary care for the commitment and energy shown as GP practices near the completion of offering second doses to every patient vaccinated at their GP practice.
All 48 GP practices across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire signed up to deliver the programme, committing to delivering the programme to certain JCVI priority groups.
Of all doses given so far within the three counties, almost 213,000 vaccines (51%) have been given by GP practices. Practices are now well on their way to completing the task of offering a second dose to every patient who has had a first vaccine and have already done 96,500 second vaccine doses at the time of publication.
Dr Sion James, Deputy Medical Director for Primary Care said “Having the experience of running the vaccination programme in my own practice I know how both challenging and rewarding it has been to be part of this programme. It is testament to our Practices commitment to delivering the best patient care possible that they have continued to work with us throughout the programme.
Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community Services and Long Term Care said “I am proud of the commitment shown by all of our practices for the excellent work that they have done in helping the Health Board to deliver this programme. Throughout the pandemic their commitment to maintaining the delivery of general medical services to their patients hasn’t wavered despite staff being under pressure and feeling tired. The delivery of the vaccination programme has been a whole system effort to protect our patients.”
Asbestos Related Diseases in Wales – a call out to readers for their story
The Llanelli Herald are asking readers to contact us at the email address below if they, or their family members have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.
Have you or a family member been diagnosed with an industrial related disease such as: asbestosis; pleural plaques or mesothelioma which was contracted through the course of you or your family’s employment in Llanelli? If so, then please contact us confidentially to discuss your experience.
The Herald Wales are in the process of launching a public awareness campaign on asbestos and the potential consequences it can pose to the health of those who have dealt with it and the damage to the environment which such material can have.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre which was widely used in construction and other industries until the late 1990s in the UK. People were and still can be unwittingly exposed to asbestos in their homes, employment and communities.
If products containing asbestos are disturbed, fibers from it can then break off and be released into the environment. When asbestos fibres are breathed in, they can enter the lungs which over time, can cause inflammation, which can affect breathing and further lead to various, serious terminal health problems.
Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
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