Our West area services the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and for the last few years has been operating a chemo run on a Friday morning.
One of the things I didn’t realise was how chemotherapy needs to be tailored for each session according to the blood chemistry of the patient. That’s probably all wrong but if there are any medical types reading this I hope they’ll forgive me.
What used to happen is that patients undergoing chemotherapy would visit the hospital on a Monday morning and have bloods taken. These would be sent for analysis and dependent on the results an appropriate treatment would be prepared.
Of course all this takes time and the patient could be waiting for several hours before undergoing the chemotherapy treatment, and that treatment can have unpleasant side effects.
Following discussions with the health board Blood Bikes Wales set up a service to make this process a little less time consuming. The patients visit their local GP on a Friday morning to have bloods taken. Our volunteer rider collects samples from a number of surgeries and conveys them to the lab where they are analysed. By the time the patients visit the clinic on Monday the results are back and the treatment is ready.
Admittedly, we cannot help much with the impact of chemotherapy but we can help by reducing the waiting time for patients.