All-Wales Patient Centred Radiotherapy Service for Advanced Cancer Symptoms – Building Capability and Capacity

Velindre University NHS Trust

Mick Button, Consultant Oncologist and AMD Workforce

Steven Hill, Specialist Therapeutic Radiographer


Short courses of radiotherapy are often used to help patients with symptoms due to advanced cancer – and it can be very effective. Often it may be needed quite rapidly to help improve symptoms. It can also come with a burden to the patient and may involve multiple visits to hospital. Access can be limited due availability of staff with the appropriate skills to make decisions with patients, plan and deliver the radiotherapy in a timely way.


  1. To involve a wide range of people in describing and understanding ways that symptom control radiotherapy can be improved.
  2. Increase our capabilities and capacity for symptom control radiotherapy in Wales through radiographer training.
  3. Improve decision making and communication skills.



Working group involving multi-professional staff from all 3 cancer centres in Wales, with involvement (through a variety of methods/options) of a wider range of staff and patients. Deliver formal training to a number of radiographers to enhance their skills and improve clinical service resilience/quality

Expected Benefits

  • Focus on radiotherapy for advanced cancer symptoms: understanding where this works well; where it can help patients, how best to do it when it might help.


  • Patient and staff engagement/involvement to shape best practice.


  • Developing skills within the oncology team to deliver such radiotherapy well, quickly and in a sustainable way.


  • Seeking appropriate opportunities to use decision making around radiotherapy to understand patient priorities and wishes for the future.


  • Improving communication/decision making with patients and also communication with other health care professionals.