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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Treating cancer in South Wales West

Pleased as I am with the other benefits from our budget deal, the extra money for the provision of a £2 million robotic surgery system for the Singleton Hospital cancer centre capable of minimally invasive treatment of prostate and other cancers is also important.

The machine enables the removal of tumours using keyhole surgery without many of the traditional side effects associated with the treatment of prostrate cancer This will be a tremendous boost for local cancer patients, and it is being delivered through the Welsh Liberal Democrat’s Health Technology Fund, set up as part of last year’s budget. Currently, patients with prostrate cancer have had to pay extra to be operated on in England where this equipment is commonplace.

The budget deal, which was announced today, has been negotiated by the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru with the Welsh Government and will see a number of Welsh Liberal Democrat key priorities being implemented. There will be investment in telemedicine, a £50 million fund to help patients receive treatment in their own homes and the doubling of the Pupil Deprivation Grant for Wales’ poorest pupils from £450 per pupil to £918. This money will be paid directly to schools and will be used to lift up the achievement of children from deprived backgrounds.

We are also bolstering the supporting people budget. This helps support vulnerable people in our communities. The Supporting People Programme in 2013-14 (as at June Supplementary Budget 2013-14) is £136,558,000. Without the intervention, the budget would have reduced to £128,859,000 in 2014-15. With the £5.5m mitigation, the SPP budget in 2014-15 will stand at £134,359,000.

Welsh Liberal Democrats are once again making a difference to the lives of the people of South West Wales. We proposed the idea of a Health Technologies Fund as we wanted to offer patients better access to innovative treatments that were not routinely available on the Welsh NHS.

For many years the we have been arguing that cancer treatment in Wales has simply not been good enough. That is why I am so delighted that we are now to have this equipment here in Swansea.
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