CLIC Sargent has welcomed the recognition of the specific needs of young cancer patients in the refreshed Cancer Delivery Plan for Wales.
The plan, led by the Wales Cancer Network, sets out the Welsh government’s commitment to delivering the best possible care and support to all of those affected by cancer until 2020.
The charity, which helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health, has also praised a commitment to detecting cancer earlier and reducing the number of patients being diagnosed in A&E.
CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Kate Lee said: “It is vital that more is done to understand the needs of children and young people with cancer in order to improve their patient experience, and we welcome the commitment to include children and young people in future research into this crucial factor.
“Standards in Wales specify that every child and teenager must be cared for as part of a specialist service. While this works well for children, we know that not all young people receive the support to which they are entitled.
“We hope the Cancer Delivery Plan’s proposed peer review for young people’s services will identify how this can be avoided, to ensure all health boards can comply with standards and young people receive the specialist support they deserve.
“If a young person is not referred to the right service, we have no way of identifying them and their support needs. Consequently they could go through years of cancer treatment missing out on vital emotional, social and financial support services.
“Unless performance monitoring systems are put in place to measure the number of young people referred to the correct services, we have no way of knowing how many young people are at risk of missing out on a lack of support.
“Our Cancer Costs report revealed families facing an average increased cost of £600 per month while a patient is in treatment. We want to be there to fight tirelessly for every young life struck by cancer, but in order to do so we need to know that not one of them is being missed.”
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About cancer in children and young people
Today, 11 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.
About CLIC Sargent
When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk
Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.