The Alaw Unit is a combined medical oncology, clinical haematology and palliative care department. It was opened in 2000 having been built with funds raised by the local people. It is attached to a 650-bed general hospital serving a population of 250,000 in North West Wales.
The unit comprises an 18-bed in-patient unit, a ten-bed day-case treatment unit and out-patient clinics. The unit offers a medical oncology service to the local population including chemotherapy treatment for all common malignancies as well as high-dose chemotherapy and ABMT through the clinical haematology service.
Palliative and supportive care
The medical oncology team works closely with the palliative care team which is lead by a consultant in palliative care. Patients requiring specialist palliative care can be seen as in-patients, as out-patients or in the community. The palliative care team has community based specialist nurses that see patients at home and advise on symptom control and palliative care working closely with the patient’s family practitioner. In addition patients have routine access to complimentary therapy, to psychological support and to spiritual care. The hospital also has an acute pain team run through the anaesthetic department which provides specialist pain relief such as nerve blocks and intrathecal anaesthesia.