His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, visited a state-of-the-art palliative care unit near Llantrisant to meet NHS staff, patients and their loved ones as part of his summer tour of Wales.
His Royal Highness visited the Y Bwthyn NGS Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Ynysmaerdy, during the afternoon of Wednesday 7 July.
During the visit, the Prince met NHS staff from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, patients and their loved ones at the eight-bed palliative care unit, which opened its doors in September 2019.
The £7.25m unit was largely funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and its charity partner National Garden Scheme, who each gave £2.5m towards it. The additional funding came from the Welsh Government and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
A Patron of both Macmillan Cancer Support and the National Garden Scheme, His Royal Highness also met Macmillan’s Chief Executive Lynda Thomas CBE and National Garden Scheme’s Chairman Rupert Tyler during the visit.
The unit offers inpatient, outpatient and day palliative care to people with cancer and other conditions with eight inpatient beds available.
It was designed by architects that specialise in palliative care to create a calm, welcoming, and comfortable environment for people with incurable illnesses and their loved ones.
Each patient bedroom has doors designed so a patient’s bed can be taken outside onto a screened terrace if they wish to go outdoors.
Lynda Thomas CBE, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “I am thrilled our Patron His Royal Highness Prince Charles visited the Y Bwthyn NGS Macmillan Specialist Care Unit to see first-hand the peaceful environment it offers to people nearing the end of their lives and their loved ones.
“The unit is Macmillan’s biggest build Wales, which we funded to our brilliant supporters, and I was so pleased our charity partner National Garden Scheme, who donated £2.5m towards Macmillan’s contribution to the unit, joined us there on such a special day.
“It was brilliant to hear the unit’s hard-working staff sharing their stories about how it has improved experience for people cared for there and their loved ones during the toughest of times.”
Professor Marcus Longley, Chair of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “We are extremely proud of the Y Bwthyn unit and the vital work that the teams do there to support our patients and their families.
“It was wonderful to have His Royal Highness pay a visit to our staff and the unit today to hear about their experiences. Our teams go above and beyond and today’s visit from The Prince will really mean a lot after what has been an exceptionally challenging 18 months for us all.”
Rupert Tyler, Chairman of National Garden Scheme, said: “As Chairman of the National Garden Scheme I am very proud to be celebrating this wonderful new cancer unit to which we have contributed £2.5 million.
“It will be a lasting legacy in Wales of our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support in which we have raised over £17 million through 37 years.
“For HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of both our charities, to visit the unit is the icing on the cake.”
His Royal Highness was also talked through the unit’s history wall which tells the story of Y Bwthyn’s history.
The unit relocated palliative care services from Y Bwthyn Pontypridd Cottage Hospital as patients faced a 20-minute journey to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital for certain tests and treatments, which could be difficult and distressing.
Its new location means all patients can get the care they need in one place.
For support, information or just a chat, call Macmillan free on 0808 808 0000.