TWO dedicated nurses funded by a local charity are having a positive impact on cancer patients.

Hywel Dda Health Charities – the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board – has funded two trainee haematology clinical nurse specialists to care for blood cancer patients in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

Around 80 people in the area are diagnosed with blood cancer within the calendar year.

The duo – Holly and Heulwen – support blood cancer patients from the point of diagnosis right through the treatment, building strong relationships with both patients and their families and acting as a central source of support.

Gina Beard, lead cancer nurse for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The two CNSs are not only significantly improving the patient experience throughout their care pathway; they are also ensuring the sustainability of the haematology service in our more rural localities.

“Recent figures show a particularly high number of vacancies for haematology nurses in Wales. Current service provision within the health board is fragile, and these two posts are intended to assist with future proofing the service.

“The Macmillan Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey shows that patients with access to a CNS report a significantly better experience. The ongoing provision of the CNS role for patients with blood cancer provides the perfect opportunity to improve the patient experience in the health board area.”

Nicola Llewelyn, head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, said: “We are so pleased to be able to fund posts such as these which bring such tangible and sustainable benefits to patients.

“The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive to make a positive difference to the health, wellbeing and experience of NHS patients, service users and staff.”

The fund – which is 50 per cent match funded by the Withybush Cancer Day Unit Appeal Fund – pays for the pair for three days a week over a three-year period. Holly and Heulwen are currently eight months into the program.