Reform Jersey
Reform Jersey
Rob Ward


I am writing this to explain in part my absence from the recent sittings. I would like to thank those in Jersey's health service, Addenbrooks Hospital and Macmillan Jersey for their recent support. I found out that I have (hopefully by the time this is published I can say had) Prostate Cancer. A special thanks to my GP who suggested a blood test that I would not have considered. The wonders of modern science mean I have options and treatment is effective and successful. But it means I missed the States sitting on 9th September due to having surgery on that day. I expect to be back up and running in a couple of weeks.

I mention this for two reasons. First, to encourage men to get a PSA test. It’s a simple blood test and can identify early signs of Cancer. The earlier it's found, the better the long term outcomes. Modern surgery and treatments are genuinely state of the art and we have access to the best of them in Jersey. 

Second, I want to thank the new Health Minister. Sometimes the personal becomes the political. I confess that I knew very little about the issues faced by people travelling for treatment in the UK. When faced with this myself the added worries of booking my wife to come with me for support became a sudden personal reality. In my role as a deputy I raised this and others concerns with the minister directly who has acted to enable one person to travel with all patients without the current barriers that are in place. The recognition of the need to have genuine patient first treatment is appreciated. This makes a huge difference to all those who face the uncertainty, worry and practicalities of treatment in the UK. Cancer creates its own stresses and removing this simple obstacle really helps. 

My Reform Jersey colleagues did me proud with the speeches of condolence they made. 

Many thanks to them.