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NHS: More cancer specialists needed in A&E, doctors say

PUBLISHED

Being placed on immunotherapy to treat Stage 4 cancer was a life-saver for Imogen Llewellyn.

Three years on, the 34-year-old is currently cancer-free, but said if it was not for specialist doctors, the side effects could have killed her.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) claims Wales needs more oncology experts in A&E to recognise and treat emergencies.

The Welsh government said all acute hospitals were expected to have an acute oncology service.

The RCP report wants investment in emergency cancer care because of the sheer volume of patients who need urgent care during their treatment.

With about a fifth of acute hospital beds occupied by people who have a cancer-related problems, they add that about a third of admissions could be avoided if same-day care were more widely available in Wales - which in turn would relieve pressure on hospitals.

Dr Hilary Williams, consultant oncologist and Wales Cancer Network lead for acute oncology, said: "Wherever a patient lives in Wales, they should be able to access excellent acute oncology services.

"When people think about cancer treatment, they might think about undergoing surgery or receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy in an organised way, perhaps during weekday hours in a specialist centre. But what happens when an emergency arises?"

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Source: BBC News, 24 January 2023

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