The Snowdrop Breast Centre officially opens at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant

The Snowdrop Breast Centre officially opens at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant

The Snowdrop Breast Centre, a dedicated unit for breast cancer care and support has officially opened.

The £2m centre, part of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, is a state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment centre and provides a ‘one-stop clinic’ to patients referred from their GP.

Jointly funded by the health board and Welsh Government, the Snowdrop Breast Centre will provide care and support for patients with breast cancer not just through diagnosis and treatment but also enable all of their follow-up appointments to take place in the same dedicated setting, this includes breast mammography, ultrasounds and biopsies. Having all the services in one specialist unit will enable the breast care team to plan treatment for patients including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, medication, prosthetic advice and fitting as well as counselling and complementary therapies. 

The Centre is based just outside of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, and has been operational for a few months; already changing the lives of many of its patients.

As part of the official opening, the health board took the opportunity to honour Clare Smart, founder of the Giving to Pink fundraising group and placed a memorial plaque in her name at the centre. 

Clare and those involved in the fund-raising group wanted the Centre’s environment and furnishings to be carefully thought about, to have a relaxing feel and be sensitive to patient’s needs – the Giving to Pink team put huge efforts into fundraising and raised more than £300k for the centre. 

Clare’s husband Gareth was at the breast centre today and said: ““Giving to Pink was born out of Clare’s determination to give something back to the hospital and clinical teams that looked after her so well, during her own journey through breast cancer.

“Clare was resolute that a dedicated unit for breast cancer care would become a reality. Clare sadly passed away in August, and although Clare was often seen as the face of Giving to Pink, for Clare it was about inspiring a community to pull together.

“She continued to work tirelessly during the last weeks and days of her life ensuring the good work would continue.” He adds: “Seeing the Breast Centre, first hand I am incredibly proud of what Clare and the team achieved. I know Clare would be pleased, it will be supporting patients at difficult times with the facilities they deserve. As a family, we hope her legacy lives on through the work of this Centre and the continued fundraising efforts of Giving to Pink.” 

Zoe Barber, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and Clinical Services Specialty Director for Breast Services at CTMUHB said:

“The Snowdrop Breast Centre is an important and exciting development that will dramatically improve the breast care services we are able to offer our community. It will offer us a dedicated breast care unit with state-of-the-art equipment, enabling our dedicated team to be part of a centre of excellence for breast services in Wales.”

One of the first people to be seen at the Snowdrop Breast Centre, Kristyna Bater said: “The difference this Centre makes to ladies, like myself, who have breast cancer, is enormous. The benefits of having everything in one place cannot be overestimated. Gone are the days of having to walk through corridors from one department to another and wait in a crowded general outpatient department.

The ability to instead just walk from one room to another reduces anxiety, seems far more personal and gives more confidence in the process – coupled with the dedicated, professional and caring staff, the Snowdrop Breast Centre will, I’m sure, provide the absolute best care possible, help to reduce anxiety and stress and aid recovery.”

Alex Davies-Jones, MP for Pontypridd said: “It was a privilege to officially open the Snowdrop Breast Centre today which will make an enormous difference to people across our communities. This dedicated local breast cancer care centre is invaluable, and I am so grateful to everyone involved who has helped to get this project off the ground.

We all know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer – whether that’s personally or through a family member or friend. The Snowdrop Breast Centre is going to be a huge lifeline for so many, and it is a privilege to have it based in my local area. I look forward to supporting everyone at the centre – from patients to staff – in the weeks, months and years to come.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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