A CANCER specialist is preparing to spearhead a campaign to make sure that people in Powys will get the best treatment possible at Aberystwyth's Ysbyty Bronglais.

Dr Elin Jones, from Penegoes near Machynlleth is a locum consultant oncologist at the hospital and has recently raised over £12,000 towards the campaign by taking part in a 10km run at Abersoch.

This is seen as a precursor to a push to find the £1.1m needed to upgrade the services and have a fully functioning standalone cancer unit at the hospital.

At the moment cancer patients in Bronglais which also serves many parts of Powys are treated in part of the hospital's physiotherapy unit, which is not and ideal situation according to Dr Elin.

Mother of two, Dr Elin, 43, explained why she feels so passionately about the need to push forward with this campaign: "There's no designated chemotherapy department at Bronglais.

"The All Wales Cancer Network puts weight behind cancer patients receiving treatment in an appropriate environment, ie pleasant surroundings they need privacy, having consulting rooms and rooms for clinical assessment with nurse specialists working on testing, treatment for quality of life, testing the genetics of cancer and a relative room.

"At the moment we have chairs in a physiotherapy department.

"It has been agreed by the Health Board, a development unit project group has been set up and I'm the clinical lead."

Dr Elin added: "What should be remembered is that Hywel Dda does not just serve patients in three counties, but five as we treat people in Bronglais from parts of Powys and Gwynedd, I hold monthly clinics in both Llanidloes and Machynlleth.

"We are in the planning stages, we don't need the precise figure yet but we probably need over £1m.

"We'll know that in a couple of months time when the official campaign is launched."

Since the 1980s campaigners have been raising funds for a specialised cancer unit, organisations such as Merched y Wawr, Young Farmers and others have held charity events and the campaign has also received many donations and bequests in wills.

A group called the Pink Flamingoes who've raised £40,000 with various fundraisers including going out and placing these flamingoes on premises and receiving a donation to get them removed.

Dr Elin, added: "I thought it came to a point where we were receiving all this money in good will and it needs to be used, so I approached he Chief Executive Steve Moore and asked when they Hywel Dda opened the unit at Withybush hospital and aked if we were getting a unit in Bronglais and he said soon."

She also approached a the Lord Geraint Howell CT scanner appeal charity (former Ceredigion and North Pembroke MP 1974-1992) and made a bid for a donation

The trustees are willing to give all of the £200,000 that was left over from the original appeal but with the proviso that it needs to be used in 24 months which puts more pressure on the board, now.

Dr Elin, continued "We're probably halfway there with the money we need between everything."

She also explained that working with cancer patients came after being inspired working with Dr Alan Axford at the hospital.

Dr Elin said: "He set up the original unit in the 1980s, and inspired me with the way he dealt with patients and I worked with him until he retired."

"It's a privilege, as people are at their most vulnerable and also their bravest."