Bray’s Purple House welcomes new model of care for young cancer patients

Purple House, Bray.

Tom GalvinBray People

Bray’s community-based cancer support centre, Purple House, has welcomed the new HSE and National Cancer Control Programme Model of Care for Psycho-oncology for Children and Adolescents living with Cancer.

Over the past decade in Ireland, there has been an increasing recognition of the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis not just on the patient, but on the entire family and the wider community. This is especially true when the diagnosis occurs in children, adolescents and young adults.

Psycho-Oncology services for all 0-15 year olds will now be delivered within the National Paediatric Psycho-Oncology (NPPO) service in CHI at Crumlin, while adolescents and young adults (AYA) Psycho-Oncology services (for 16-24 year olds) will be delivered within the recently developed AYA Cancer Service Network, which incorporates CHI at Crumlin, Cork University Hospital, Galway University Hospital, and St James’s Hospital.

The primary aim of the Model of Care is to provide a plan for the provision of psychosocial and psychological support services for children, adolescents and young adults (CAYA) with cancer over the lifetime of the current National Cancer Strategy (2017-2026).

Purple House Cancer Support has welcomed the new model of care, as it will give a framework to further develop the range of psychosocial and psychological support services for children, adolescents and young adults provided by the charity.

Conor O'Leary, Director of Operations at Purple House said: “Each year in Ireland, around 200 children up to the age of 16, a further 69 adolescents between the ages of 16 and 19, and 111 young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer.

"Over the past 33 years of Purple House, we have seen and heard from hundreds of families the need for increased psychological support services. This was the main reason why Purple House was founded in 1990. At Purple House we have a dedicated CAYA Team of childcare practitioners, a psychologist, and a team of child & adolescent counsellors who work with over 1,700 families per year.

"We welcome the launch of a new model of care for this cohort of children and adolescents and we look forward to working with the HSE and NCCP to further expand our services in this area,” he said.