Concern As Chemotherapy Appointments Cancelled

Concerns have been raised over the cancellation of hundreds of chemotherapy appointments at Northern Ireland's main cancer centre as it closes for bank holidays.

The Belfast Cancer Centre runs at the City Hospital and saw upwards of 750 appointments cancelled in April and May, as first reported by the BBC. Many of these were later rescheduled, but this is not always possible.

The SDLP highlighted the undue stress and anxiety this causes among cancer patients.
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The party's health spokesperson Mark H Durkan said: "The cancellation of any clinical appointment can cause significant undue stress for patients. When it's a chemotherapy session, however, the anxiety caused to those awaiting treatment is clearly more acute.

"The testimony from patients who have had their appointments cancelled on bank holidays is hard to hear but it's crucial that we listen and learn from their experience.

"The practice of cancelling appointments for bank holidays does not seem to be routine in other health services and it's important that the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust explains the rationale. They should also explain why appointments are scheduled for bank holidays at all if they are going to be cancelled, creating additional worry for patients," the Foyle MLA concluded.


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