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Lessons for NHS `from Breast Test Wales'.

THE NHS across UK will be told today it can learn from the way Breast Test Wales operates. The organisation, which does routine breast screening, was just one part of Velindre NHS Trust to be praised in a Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) clinical governance review.

The trust's commitment in involving patients and the public in its work was also highlighted in the commission's report, published today.

The CHI said it had found evidence of patient and service user involvement that resulted in changes to practice across all divisions in the trust. But its report raised concerns about the length of outpatient cancer clinics, the environment these patients wait in and a general lack of privacy.

There was also concern that the number of divisions in Velindre NHS Trust, which not only manages cancer services but Breast Test Wales, Cervical Screening Wales, the Welsh Blood Service, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Screening Unit for all of Wales, may detract from the identity of the trust as a whole.

The review report said there was a need to ensure the board continues to be kept informed of activity and performance in each division.

The CHI team said it was impressed with the privacy for patients in Breast Test Wales and Welsh Blood Service as well as the trust's information systems.

Peter Homa, chief executive of CHI said, ``Velindre NHS Trust is unusual in its structure in that it comprises several very different and diverse services. It has shown excellent practice around patient and service user involvement and the development of information systems across the all divisions.

``However, there still needs to be further co-ordination of work to ensure systems and process are not duplicated across the trust.'' He said standards varied across the NHS and that the CHI works to improve these standards by highlighting both good practice and areas that need improvement.

``Velindre NHS Trust is developing an action plan in response to our report and, once implemented, the quality of patient care should improve further.''

Cancer treatment centre

BUILDING work started yesterday on a dedicated cancer treatment centre at Wrexham Maelor Hospital after a four-year fund-raising campaign.

The Shooting Star Centre at the hospital is expected to be ready by early next year.

Work has started to move a number of existing hospital services to accommodate the new centre.

A new ambulance entrance is being provided alongside the main hospital entrance and the anti-coagulation clinic re-sited within the building. Big strides have been made in recent years in improving services for cancer patients in the region.

The North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, in Bodelwyddan, opened in May, 2000 and now provides a specialist radiotherapy service to the whole of North Wales.

The centre saves countless patients from long journeys to NorthWest England for treatment.

Wrexham Maelor has built up a body of consultants, medical staff and clinical nurse specialists with expertise in cancer care and will set up a dedicated outpatient unit to complement the treatment centre. The unit will incorporate rooms for consulting, examination and treatment and will include specialist accommodation for chemotherapy. Counselling facilities for patients and their families will be provided and the unit will act as the focal point for information on cancer.

There is also to be a dedicated women's clinic providing care for cervical, ovarian and breast cancer.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUW
Date:Feb 4, 2003
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