Home Local news Anger at Welsh Government’s gynaecological cancer response

Anger at Welsh Government’s gynaecological cancer response

by Editor

The Welsh Government said that “the vast majority of those receiving cancer care for gynaecological cancer consistently report high levels of patient satisfaction with NHS services” in response to the Senedd’s Health and Social Care Committee repor.

This brought shock amongst those who presented evidence, stating that it does not represent their personal and family experiences with cancer concerns being repeatedly ignored by professionals.

Sioned Cash from Anglesey expressed dismay at the Welsh Government’s response.

Her mother, Judith Rowlands, died in the aftermath of her testimony to the committee.

Ms Cash felt the response sets a tone that was “quite dismissive of there being any issues.”

Similarly, Claire O’Shea of Cardiff, a patient with Uterine Leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, voiced her scepticism of the cabinet secretary’s claims about high patient satisfaction, stating, “at no point have I been asked about my satisfaction levels with the services I have received.”

She also expressed deep disappointment about a perceived lack of commitment to transformative change that directly confronts the challenges and needs of Welsh women now and in the future.

Russell George MS, chairman of the Senedd’s Health and Social Care Committee, urged the cabinet secretary to acknowledge the women’s comments and to restore confidence to those who courageously shared their experiences.

Mr George pointed out several areas in the government’s response that need scrutiny.

Delay in constructing a Women’s Health Plan for Wales, the disruption of services due to the covid-19 pandemic, and the worryingly high number of diagnoses through emergency admissions at A&E, all posed major concerns.

Significantly, he pointed out that although the cabinet secretary accepted 24 of the report’s recommendations, either entirely or partly, her response does not pledge any additional funding.

“Each year, around 1,200 people are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer in Wales,” he said.

“Around 470 people die from gynaecological cancers in Wales every year, a rate higher than the UK average.

“I hope that our report will bring about the changes so desperately needed to improve the experiences of women in the future.”

The report was debated at the Senedd on Wednesday afternoon, 15 May.

Eluned Morgan MS, cabinet secretary, was put on the spot to further explain her responses and reflect on the critical feedback from women.

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