A physiotherapist has been appointed to work with patients with gynaecological cancers, a move that is believed to be a first for the UK. Dina Bams post is part of a £820,000 investment by Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales.
The charity has funded a new Macmillan therapies team at Singleton hospital in Swansea, which comprises a specialist dietitian and two physiotherapy specialists, including Ms Bam. They will soon be joined by an occupational therapist, dietetic assistant and head and neck clinical nurse specialist.
Ms Bam will see up to 300 patients a year across south west Wales. ‘There is a huge need for rehabilitation for patients with gynaecological cancers,’ she said. ‘We will see all women with gynaecological cancers before and after treatment and help them with advice on exercise and scar management. Following treatment patients will be referred to a six-week rehabilitation programme at their local leisure centre that will look at exercise, nutrition, complementary therapy and sexual health.’
Another Macmillan physiotherapist, Kathryn Elias, will work with patients on the oncology and haematology wards to help them cope with the side-effects of treatment, such as pain and shortness of breath. She will also visit patients in the community.
Philippa Ford, CSP policy officer for Wales, said: ‘It is really good to know that Macmillan have identified the importance of physiotherapy service provision as part of the investment.’