Welsh rock legend and current cancer patient Mike Peters says that the row over standards of care in the Welsh NHS could damage patients’ experiences and expectations in North Wales hospitals.
Peters, who was diagnosed with Lymph Cancer in 1995, then Leukaemia in 2005 says he has received “brilliant, first class care” from the NHS in North Wales over three decades.
Referring to the recent war of words between politicians in the Welsh Assembly and Westminster, the star of ‘The Alarm’ said: “It’s important to remember the impact all this could have on patients, not to mention the thousands of NHS staff who are doing the very best they can in difficult circumstances.”
“It can be scary coming in to hospital when you’re unwell and it’s really unhelpful to hear claims that Wales has a “second class” health service.”
The Welsh rocker, from Dyserth, Denbighshire, was first diagnosed with lymph cancer in 1995, and after going into remission in 1996, he received the devastating news that his cancer had returned as Leukaemia in 2005.
Since then, Peters has received regular treatment on the Alaw Unit in Ysbyty Gwynedd, where he says he’s been “overwhelmed” by healthcare staff’s kindness and professionalism.
“NHS staff have been by my side throughout my battle with Leukaemia and they have always treated me not just as a patient, but as a human being – enabling me to continue to tour and to enjoy life with my wife Jules, and sons, Evan (7) and Dylan (10).”
Peters, who came 11th in an online poll of 100 Welsh heroes says the Welsh NHS received a glowing endorsement from Dr. Joseph Fay at the world renowned Baylor Institute and from Dr. Bob Collins at UT Southwestern in Dallas Texas after he sought a second opinion on his condition while touring the States in 2005
“They both said ‘Mike – you really are receiving the very best care possible in North Wales. We wouldn’t change anything’”
“They couldn’t believe that something so good was free in the United Kingdom, or that I “found” my doctor by simply walking through the door of my local hospital!”
Through his charity, the ‘Love Hope Strength Foundation’ (LHS) which he co-founded in 2007, Mike Peters and his wife Jules have become tireless supporters of cancer services across the world, playing concerts to raise funds for third world cancer care at Everest Base Camp, the summit of Kilimanjaro, as well as the top of the Empire State Building in New York.
As part of an ongoing mission to ‘Save Lives – One Concert At A Time’, LHS turns rock concerts into life saving events by hosting bone marrow donor drives and registering people between to the ages of 18-55 to the international registry. Working in the UK and the USA, LHS has registered almost 90,000 people to the list and located over 1200 potentially lifesaving matches.
Next month, Peters will be teaming up with the North Wales NHS Charity, Awyr Las, to launch “By Your Side” – an appeal to help enhance cancer care across North Wales.