2022 is upon us, the days are getting longer and the crocuses are proudly anticipating the grand reveal of their colour and beauty over the coming weeks. It is impossible not to feel renewed hope and positivity in spite of oneself. And so hope we will – that we can continue to raise awareness of the medical model needed to provide the best and safest care for cancer patients in south east Wales.

Our continuing efforts in this area are not personal. Our criticism of the proposed model is not personal. Endeavours to encourage scrutiny of the nVCC project are not personal. We simply believe that there is a far better, safer, cheaper way to care for patients with co-located care and that the current proposals WILL fail to guarantee safety and joined-up thinking across multiple specialities.

Despite always trying to remain polite and kind when dealing with individuals, the abuse we have been subjected to via social media has been demoralising and unnecessary. We have been shouted at in public and called names. We have been accused of lying, falsifying documents, described as being ‘selfish’, ‘pathetic’ and ‘evil’ by online trolls. Despite expecting and accepting this treatment, it is personal. Over time, even the most robust will be affected by persistent unkindness. There is great temptation to retaliate with like-for-like but instead we take a deep breath and explain to the general public that they may not be aware of all of the facts, encouraging individuals to consider certain points and ask questions of the proposed service. Many feel too impassioned to have meaningful conversations because they often have personal cancer stories behind the formation of their views and this understandably is incredibly emotive.  We respect this position yet people think that we are ‘against’ them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We just want them to have the excellent care that they are entitled to and would be given in more up-to-date, co-located services. Care that south east Wales could provide if people opened their ears and eyes to the multiple, glaring issues being swept under the carpet by key stakeholders.