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MP backs bid by Katherine for care to be equal

Monday 28th October 2013 (Andrew Griffiths)

A NATIONAL campaign to ensure bone marrow transplant patients receive the same level of post-transplant care across the country is being supported by Burton MP Andrew Griffiths.

The town’s MP pledged his support to the campaign run by the charity Anthony Nolan after being contacted by Burton leukaemia sufferer Katherine Sinfield.

The 33-year-old teacher from Balfour Street decided to reach out to the parliamentarian just days before she underwent a bone marrow transplant herself this week.

She said: “Before I returned to hospital I penned a letter to MP Andrew Griffiths, asking if he would support the Anthony Nolan’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ campaign.

“The campaign calls on the NHS to implement a national framework for care and treatment as this can vary greatly across the country.

“I’m immensely impressed with the level of care I am receiving at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, but I know from reading the report that others aren’t so lucky or that they feel frustrated with the lack of joined-up thinking.

“What readers probably don’t realise, is that a leukaemia patient is a patient for life.

“The journey doesn’t finish after a stem cell transplant, in fact, the side-effects and long-term needs of patients are more complex than with many cancers.

“When you’re looking at a lifetime of post-transplant care, it is important that the right systems are in place country-wide.

“In my letter to Andrew Griffiths, I asked him to write on my behalf to the chief executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson and to the Secretary of State for Health, MP Jeremy Hunt.

“He has agreed to do that and to keep me updated when they reply.

“I am also thankful to MP Andrew Griffiths for fully supporting the Burton Mail’s ‘Take Five Minutes’ campaign which also saw him give blood.”

In a letter to the couple, Mr Griffiths responded to Katherine’s appeal for help in pushing for change.

He said: “I have been following the Burton Mail’s ‘Take Five Minutes’ campaign very closely over the past few months, and I cannot praise you enough for the work you have done in raising awareness of the condition and galvanising support for charities such as Anthony Nolan.

“I know what fantastic work the charity does in championing the care of patients who have had a bone marrow transplant, and also for the work it does, in finding’ bone marrow donors.

“I recognise what a serious procedure a bone, marrow transplant is, and it is essential that patients receive the best possible treatment and care across the NHS.

“As requested I have written to the chief executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson, to ask him-to look into the points you raised in your letter about a national framework for care and treatment.

“I have also written to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt to raise the issue with him.”

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