Headlines: April 8th, 2004

Health Professionals caring for cancer patients in Wales are being e-enabled with the launch of an advice service they can access at the touch of a button. The new Professional E Direct website has been officially launched to give them reputable and up to date information almost instantly.The Welsh Assembly’s Health and Social Services Minister, Jane Hutt, praised all those involved with the development of the website, which will allow health professionals from around Wales to e-mail requests for information about palliative care. They will then be sent an electronic reply referring them to a review text or to the palliative medicine guidelines.

The service has been developed with the backing of the New Opportunities Fund and Lisol IT services have designed and developed the innovative system, which, Jane Hutt said, would be a vital new tool for health professionals dealing with patients in advanced stages of diseases. The development of the site follows the launch last year of the Assembly Government’s strategy – Strategic Direction for Palliative Care Services in Wales, which set out a number of aims and objectives but also recognised the gaps in provision for healthcare professionals who wanted a reliable and informative support service. The Minister said she believed the unique e-mail response service was an important development in helping to address that need.