Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi has announced that she has been re-elected chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) aims to be the voice in Parliament of cancer patients and their families, and campaigns on multiple issues, including early diagnosis, workforce, rarer cancers and patient experience.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP was first elected to this position at the beginning of last year. The past 12 months have been unprecedented for Cancer care, and the APPGC has been incredibly busy. Here are just a few of the activities Tonia has done in her role as Chair:
- Met virtually with the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock MP, to discuss the backlog and recovery of services
- Met with the Cancer Minister, Jo Churchill MP, to meet with the APPGC and the Chairs of the Cancer APPGs in January of this year to discuss the National Cancer Recovery Plan.
- Supported the work of various charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Catch Up with Cancer, Cancer Research UK, CLIC Sargent, Jo’s Trust, Breast Cancer Now, Teenage Cancer Trust, Brain Tumour Research and Pancreatic Cancer UK – to name a few
- Tonia has highlighted Cancer 13 times in Parliament – in the House of Commons and Westminster Hall
On her re-election, Tonia said: “I am thrilled to be able to continue in my role as Chair of the APPG on Cancer.
“This past year has had a devastating impact on people with cancer and the scale of the crisis for cancer services cannot be understated. I’m proud of the APPGC’s track record over the past 12 months, in keeping Cancer on the agenda in Parliament.
“There is still a lot of work for the APPGC to do. This year we will be focussing on 3 main priorities: Ensure the Government addresses the backlog in cancer diagnosis, care and treatment; Campaign for a funded workforce plan to deliver the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan; and call attention to the financial cost of cancer.
“As Chair of the APPGC I will do everything I can to be a powerful voice in Parliament for the cancer community and the organisations that support them. We will not let cancer be forgotten during the pandemic and beyond.”
Hospital’s flower power proves big success with patients
A summer of sun and extra flower beds have blossomed into the perfect partnership for patients’ wellbeing at Singleton Hospital.
The recent prolonged sunny spells – the hottest recorded for Wales in 30 years – have provided ideal conditions for hundreds of begonias to bloom.
This year, the health board has invested in additional raised beds around the hospital to increase the positive impact on the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors.
Betty Foley has worked at Singleton as a volunteer for over 15 years.
Seeing a large number of patients, staff and visitors during each shift, she has heard a lot of positive patient feedback for the flower features.
She said: “I deal with a large number of patients and visitors coming into Singleton and a lot of them have passed comment on how lovely the flowers look around the hospital.
“A lot arrive through the main reception and they’re welcomed by a really colourful bed of flowers, which can give you a bit of a boost when you’re going into hospital for treatment.
“I’ve been told countless times recently by patients that they sit in front of the hospital where the benches are and the flowers take their mind off things.
“Small things like that can really make a big difference to your day.”
Christian Berndsen, gardening maintenance, and his team put the bedding plants in at the end of May.
He said: “We’ve used a lot of different types of begonias as they have a variety of bright colours that really catch the eye.
“The flowers have benefited from a great summer of sun.
“I’ve had a lot of comments while we’re around the hospital, which is nice. The intention was to give anyone who uses the hospital a nice, bright collection of flowers to look at around the site.
“Seeing bright flowers such as the begonias can give you a bit of a lift, so it’s been lovely to hear that patients love them as it shows it’s having a positive effect.”
Singleton has also benefited from a wooden sculpture of an oak dragonfly, which features on the Crush Hall roundabout which is situated between the main entrance and the maternity and child health building.
That has been funded by Biophilic Wales and designed by local sculptor Simon Hedger, and adds to a creative corner in the hospital grounds.
Nick Davies, Estates Officer at Singleton Hospital, added: “The flowers and sculpture certainly improves the appearance of the hospital. As we have a lot of patients, visitors and staff coming to this hospital we firmly believe that first impressions are very important.
“If you’re waiting for an appointment or are visiting family or a friend, it’s nice for people to see and offers a little lift. In addition, it’s a natural habitat for small wildlife such as bees and butterflies.
“Christian and the gardening team have done a great job brightening up areas around the hospital, and we’re really pleased it’s impacted patients in a positive way.”
Lead image: Volunteer Betty Foley, Nick Davies, Estates Officer at Singleton Hospital and Christian Berndsen from gardening maintenance at the Crush Hall roundabout display. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)
Stained glass window dedicated at Withybush Hospital Chapel
A new stained glass window has been dedicated during a special service at St Luke’s Chapel in Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.
The window was funded by Springboard Learning Pembrokeshire, with support from Communities First.
The colourful piece of art was created by parents of St Mary’s School in Pembroke Dock on a course, under the direction of Springboard’s highly accomplished stained glass tutor, Pandora Hughes.
The window was originally created in 2015 and was designed to fit the windows of St Mary’s school hall in Pembroke Dock but lost its home after the school closed in 2018. The Chaplaincy Team at Withybush hospital were pleased to offer a new home to the window.
Laura Philips, Springboard Coordinator said: “It is hoped that others will get as much pleasure from its design and colours as everyone did creating them.
“The window tries to capture all that life has to offer and the importance of our culture and surroundings. It celebrates the sea and coast, the history of the Sunderland Bombers of Pembroke Dock and the town’s bold and strong architecture. The rainbow represents the hope and promise of love and life. The dove of peace is a symbol of tranquillity and the prayer of heavenly wisdom. And all around the edges you will find are images of health, wealth, nature, music, and literature. The rose stands for the importance of life to all the parents who worked on this window.”
Hywel Dda University Health Board’s chaplains Revd Geoffrey Eynon; Father Liam Bradley and Revd Martin Spain, officiated the dedication service.
The Springboard team were in attendance and Laura Philips spoke about the historical context of the stained glass window.
Bethan Andrews, Withybush Hospital Service Delivery Manager, (Stroke and COTE), representing the health board, gave the vote of thanks to conclude the dedication, followed by the blessing and recessional hymn.
(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)
Swansea professor’s COVID contribution recognised with new honour
A Swansea academic at the forefront of shaping our understanding of Covid-19 has received further recognition for his work in the field of data science.
This latest honour follows on from Professor Lyons becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and being appointed OBE in the New Year’s honours.
The focus of his work is the use of routinely collected data to better understand factors that influence health and wellbeing and developing and evaluating interventions aimed to improve the health of the public. He has led some of the largest studies ever undertaken in this field and contributed to research surrounding the pandemic and its consequences at Wales, UK and European level.
Professor Lyons said he was delighted to have been recommended for membership of the prestigious Academia Europaea, which aims to encourage the highest possible standards in scholarship, research and education, and promote a better public understanding of the benefits of learning.
He said: “This honour is a recognition of the shared efforts and hard work of the various teams and partners I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years. None more so than over the last two years, during the pandemic.
“Through the European Population Health Information Research Infrastructure (PHIRI) Project we’re developing research infrastructure to generate the best Covid-19 population health knowledge. The multi-disciplinary, One Wales working group provided crucial evidence to Welsh Government’s response to Covid community transmission and informed policy development across the UK.
“The International Covid-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) partnership with Health Data Research UK and the Bills Gates Foundation and others, is supporting a globally coordinated approach to tackling Covid and future threats.
“This has been an incredibly challenging period for us all and I’m enormously proud that these labours have been acknowledged and rewarded by this election.”
Professor Lyons now joins more than 5,000 other eminent, individual scientists and scholars, who cover a broad range of academic disciplines that include former Nobel Prize laureates, Turing Award recipients and Fields Medal winners.
(Lead image: Swansea University)
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