LEADER of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, has pledged to champion the concerns of terminally ill people in the Vale of Glamorgan by lending his support to a Marie Curie campaign calling for the right for everyone to have palliative care when they need it.

Regional AM for South Wales Central Mr Davies teamed up with Marie Curie Senior Health Care Assistant Tracy Tucker at Ty Hywel in Cardiff Bay to back the campaign from the UK’s leading charity supporting people living with any terminal illness and their families.

Mr Davies said: “Having visited and seen first-hand the work Marie Curie nurses carry out to care for and support people living with a terminal illness in the Vale of Glamorgan, I am delighted to support the charity’s campaign to ensure that people who need palliative care services don’t miss out at the time when they need that care the most.

“This dreadful disease has a huge impact on the patient and their family and we must ensure the necessary support and assistance is available and provided to everyone involved. That is a right that everyone deserves.”

The campaign comes as Marie Curie revealed that only half of people over the age of 50 in the Wales - of whom there are 1.2 million - are not confident they will get the care they need towards the end of their life.

Currently, one in four people each year who need palliative care miss out on it because their needs are not recognised and they are not referred on to the right services.

Marie Curie is calling on the Welsh Government to build on the good work already done to improve access to high quality palliative and end of life care for everyone with a terminal illness.

Vale resident Mr Davies has pledged to help ensure that any constituents who have a terminal illness know what services and benefits they are entitled to; and work with local NHS services to improve access to and quality of palliative care for those who need it.

In South Wales Central, Marie Curie will soon be launching a new integrated Hospice at Home service in collaboration with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

The new service, which is set to officially launch in the New Year, will transform care for people living with a terminal illness by providing flexible, 24 hour care. The area is also home to the Marie Curie Cardiff and Vale Hospice, a 30-bed unit providing specialist round the clock care.

The hospice itself is host to a twice-monthly Carers’ Cafe, where carers can pop in for a cup of tea, slice of cake and an informal chat about their caring role.

Since opening in March this year, the cafe has supported more than 170 carers.

The Marie Curie Helper Service, which sees local volunteers provide companionship and support for people living with a terminal illness, also operates in the area.

Simon Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs for Wales at Marie Curie, said: "We are incredibly grateful to Andrew RT Davies for supporting Marie Curie’s campaign.

"Much has been done in Wales over recent years to improve palliative care services but we must all continue to work to ensure that everyone with a terminal illness, whatever illness that might be or wherever they live, gets the high quality care and support they need and deserve.”

If you or someone you’re close to has a terminal illness, you can call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or visit mariecurie.org.uk/help.