Deeside MP delivers Commons speech calling for more financial support for stem cell transplant patients
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami held an adjournment debate in the Commons on Monday evening regarding the impact of the cost of living crisis on stem cell transplant patients and their families.
Tami, who is also Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Stem Cell Transplantation and Advanced Cellular Therapies, started off by explaining the specific challenges stem cell transplant patients are facing in the midst of the cost of living crisis.
Undergoing a stem cell transplant can cause a drastic fall in household income as many patients will have to take considerable time off work to undergo treatment and ensure a full recovery.
As well as this, costs for these patients rise as their severely weakened immune systems require more is spent on keeping extra warm, avoiding infection and buying food for a specialised “clean” diet in order to survive.
As well as this, patients are required to attend regular follow-up hospital appointments, further incurring travel-related costs.
The Alyn and Deeside MP then went on to make specific demands of the Government, calling on them to provide new targeted support for this group of patients.
Tami urged the Government to extend the Warm Homes Discount, establish a Patient Travel Fund and guarantee timely access to benefits for stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy patients.
The Government’s Neil O’Brien MP responded assuring that schemes are already in place to support patients and that they will continue to look at them closely to ensure they are adequate.
During the debate, Mark Tami said: “Patients who might otherwise die without a stem cell transplant are seriously considering whether they can simply afford to receive that treatment.
No one should have to choose between heating, eating and treatment. This is not about the cost of living, but the cost of survival.
“Ultimately, stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy patients have one chance of recovery. One chance. They need extra support from the Government now to see them through the cost of living crisis and enable them to realise that chance.”
Henny Braund MBE, Chief Executive at blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan said:
“People going through intensive treatment like a stem cell transplant are struggling more than ever due to soaring costs. We are hearing from some patients who are even considering postponing their lifesaving transplant because they simply cannot afford the costs associated with being in treatment and recovery.
“The financial assistance available is wholly inadequate and offers minimal support to our patients. The government must urgently put in place a financial safety net for clinically vulnerable people, including blood cancer patients, to see them through this unprecedented cost of living crisis.
“We encourage anyone who has had a stem cell transplant and is affected by the cost of living crisis to reach out to Anthony Nolan. Our expert Patient Services team offers information, advice, and emotional and practical support for patients and their families. Patients can call on 0303 303 0303.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com