Simon Thomas AM pledges support to improve care for terminally ill

Thursday 19th November 2015 11:14 am
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Mid and West Assembly Member, Simon Thomas, has pledged to champion the concerns of local people with a terminal illness by lending his support to a Marie Curie campaign calling for the right for everyone to have palliative care when they need it.

Simon Thomas AM teamed up with Marie Curie Senior Health Care Assistant Tracy Tucker at Ty Hywel in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday to back the campaign from the UK’s leading charity supporting people living with any terminal illness, and their families.

Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas, said: “I know from the work and research I did at the time of leading the Assembly debate on dignity in dying, that there is a severe lack of palliative care as a right in all parts of Wales. Marie Curie does excellent work. We need to ensure uniform provision across the nation.

“The work Marie Curie Nurses carry out to care for and support people living with a terminal illness is truly outstanding. I am happy to support the charity’s campaign to ensure that people who need palliative care services don’t miss out at the time when they need that care the most.”

The campaign comes as Marie Curie revealed that only half of people over the age of 50 in the Wales – of whom there are 1.2 million - are not confident that they will get the care they need towards the end of their life.

Currently, one in four people each year who need palliative care miss out on it because their needs are not recognised and they are not referred on to the right services. Marie Curie is calling on the Welsh Government to build on the good work already done to improve access to high quality palliative and end of life care for everyone with a terminal illness.

Simon Thomas has pledged to help ensure that any constituents who have a terminal illness know what services and benefits they are entitled to; and work with local NHS services to improve access to and quality of palliative care for those who need it.

In Mid and West Wales Marie Curie has around 39 nurses providing a variety of services in the region. In Powys, Nurses typically provide overnight care between the hours of 10 am and 7 pm. In the Hywel Dda region, Marie Curie operates a flexible 24-hour patient focused care service, where nurses are available throughout the day and night to provide care, working with partners across the Hywel Dda University Health Board region. The charity also operates a specialist award-winning palliative care dementia service in West Wales; where senior nurses work in partnership with Hywel Dda Health provide thorough assessments of those people living with dementia and providing care and support to them and the people who care for them.

Simon Jones, head of policy and public affairs for Wales at Marie Curie, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Simon Thomas for supporting Marie Curie’s campaign. Much has been done in Wales over recent years to improve palliative care services but we must all continue to work to ensure that everyone with a terminal illness, whatever illness that might be or wherever they live, gets the high quality care and support they need and deserve.”

If you or someone you’re close to has a terminal illness, you can call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or visit mariecurie.org.uk/help. You can also share experiences and talk to people in a similar situation on the Marie Curie community.

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