We should always be proud of the National Health service and the tremendous work done by thousands of staff across Wales. This means recognising and celebrating progress when we see it.
As a member of the Assembly’s health and social care committee I take a great interest in cancer treatment figures - and there is definitely good news for Wales.
Cancer survival rates are improving– there has been an increase in cancer survival rates with a 14 per cent rise in the one-year survival rate, and a 15 per cent rise in the five-year survival rate.
The latest report on cancer deaths shows the general trend for cancer mortality and is now 11 per cent lower than in 2002.
There is also excellent work being carried out locally.
For example, Cancercareline in Blackwood, a charity almost entirely run by volunteers, provides support to anyone whose life has been affected by cancer in the Caerphilly council area. I first met with manager Kay Reed and chairman Adrian Read from Cancercareline a few months ago.
They told me about the unique service they provide locally including operating a 24 hour helpline providing counselling and benefits advice. I was disappointed when they then told me about the problems facing the centre after their funding was cut. It was obvious to me the wrong decision had been made.
I brought Cancercareline together with representatives from Caerphilly council and Aneurin Bevan health board to discuss the service they provide and the gap that would be left if the service closed.
I am pleased to say I met again with Kay and Adrian a few days ago and was delighted to hear that the health board and the council have agreed to continue funding this vital service for local residents. Their helpline for anyone who is affected by cancer can be reached on 01495 221 660.
I would like to pass on my thanks to the staff and volunteers who give up their time to provide such an important and needed service.
I would also like to make readers aware that the Post Office in Aberbargoed will be moving from 49 Commercial Street to a new local style branch in Vida Rogers, 26 Commercial Street.
The current branch will close at 12:30pm on Tuesday, July 1 and the new branch should open at 1pm on Wednesday, July 2. The nearest alternative Post Office is at 10 Cardiff Road, Bargoed.