Withybush Hospital’s wig service is due to be reinstated after a tireless campaign by a local cancer charity worker.
The wig service at Withybush was available to chemotherapy patients and won the Chairman’s Award for Excellence. The service was available to patients while they underwent treatment and wigs were available for around £30 on top of a £90 voucher.
At the end of March Lyn Neville, charity coordinator for Pembrokeshire Cancer Support, was approached by oncology staff who told him that the service had been stopped.
“They were beside themselves,” he said. “One day it was there and the next day it was gone. The nurses weren’t told in advance that it was happening.”
The service was then outsourced to a private business where, Mr Neville says, patients had to find a consultation fee and pay significantly more for wigs.
Since learning of the change Mr Neville, who has himself suffered with cancer, has bombarded the health board with letters and e-mails asking for the rationale behind the removal of the service.
“If the old system was working perfectly fine why change it? The extra financial burden alone is reason enough to leave it as it was,” he said.
Last night (Wednesday) he received correspondence from the vice chairman of Hywel dda Health Board, Sian Mari James, telling him that the service would return to Withybush Hospital.
“As a Health Board we have secured agreement that our out patients department nursing staff will maintain this well regarded service, until such time as the Welsh Government revised policy is issued sometime this year,” she wrote. “Therefore, the Health Board has agreed to maintain this service.”
Mr Neville said he was overjoyed with the news.
“I thought I was going to burst,” he said. “It’s very difficult to get a victory of any sort. I’m just ecstatic.
“I have just spoken to the ‘wig ladies’ at the hospital and they are also beaming.”