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New unit to help occupational therapists get cancer patients home sooner

Wednesday 12th September 2018
Occupational therapists working with cancer patients have a new facility available in Cardiff.
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Occupational therapists will be able to help cancer patients maintain their independence for longer through their involvement in a new one-stop shop in Cardiff. 

The new £53 million assessment unit at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Whitchurch is being opened today (September 12th), with help from Macmillan Cancer Support.

It is designed to provide rapid assessment of emergency cancer patients at Velindre and has four dedicated beds. In addition, it has a wide-ranging team of professionals, of which occupational therapists are a part. 

While others will deal with emergencies, the role of occupational therapists will be to provide support in co-ordination with other staff to ensure those who are able to go home can soon do so. 

This approach was emphasised by Head of services for Macmillan in Wales Richard Pugh. He said: "Our investment focuses on providing a dedicated dietetic, occupational therapy and physiotherapy service - so from start to finish, the new team will be on hand to help speed up initial assessments, put detailed care plans in place and support people with cancer to return home as soon and as safely as possible so they can maintain their independence for longer."

In this respect, occupational therapy can be invaluable to patients in the Cardiff area, as it will mean they can spend more time at home - something that will be generally more comfortable for them and of particular value if they have a terminal diagnosis and want to make the most of the time they have left.

The opening of the new Velindre Centre comes after a tense planning battle, as the location of the new facility on the site of a nature reserve made the project controversial. However, planners gave it the green light in December last year.

However, Velindre NHS Trust successfully argued that the existing facilities at the Velindre Cancer Centre, which was built in 1956, were outdated and had not kept up with advances in medicine, therapy and technology. 

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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