Alongside the impassioned, drawn out legal fight that has been making local headlines recently, ( the clinical fight to be heard continues unfettered.

Clinicians are speaking out

Despite a local clinician going public on Welsh television, there has been an eerie silence from Velindre. They have made no effort to either acknowledge or challenge the damning claims: that the new model of care does not, and can not, guarantee the safety of deteriorating patient on a stand-alone site without its own dedicated transport service.

Sadly, and not without irony, the broadcast went live on the same day the ambulance service acknowledged they were relying on the army to help them with unprecedented demand.

A breach of patient trust

Promising vulnerable, trusting patients that they are ‘only a few minutes away from the University Hospital of Wales’ has never been a more disingenuous claim. Clinicians remain resolute in the practical knowledge that most aggressive treatments will not be delivered on the new VCC site because of the lack proximity to appropriate care facilities. This will displace emphasis, funding, research, the workforce, training and teaching across two sites. 

Future cancer care

Thankfully, the future of cancer care is brighter than ever from the perspective of treatment options and outcomes. It is disappointing that some of the most effective yet toxic treatments will not be delivered in the new flagship hospital, contrary to what patients and the public are encouraged to believe. Huge progress over recent years has yielded chances and opportunities that would have been inconceivable twenty years ago. Predictably, with more options and hope come more potential adverse effects and complications. These increased risks are not catered for in the new proposed model of care.

The iPhone 4 Cancer Centre

 Inevitably, as time goes by, the shiny new hospital will become the iphone 4 of the apple range – ‘it was great when it first was designed’ but now hosts a tiny fraction of what is possible, is physically unable to accommodate progress and has become utterly obsolete.

Many are of the opinion that the medical community have been aware of this for years, that the plans represent an outdated concept that was probably entirely appropriate ten or so years ago. We need a practical and safe vision for the future and to learn from those who have gone before us. The service for cancer patients can be excellent if heed is paid to those who look after these individuals. Counsel must be taken from expert centres that thrive and the organisations supporting and representing the care that they deliver. As people will know, of those that thrive, none has a setup like the proposed new Velindre Cancer Centre.

The fight for safe care goes on.