Cancer patients in the Bay of Plenty will have two dedicated cancer coordination nurses to support and guide them throughout their treatment.
The announcement of two new nurses for the region comes as the Government makes a commitment to provide better and faster cancer services.
“We are investing $16 million over four years so every district health board (DHB) will have at least one full time cancer coordination nurse, with some large DHBs employing up to four nurses,” says Health Minister Tony Ryall.
“Bay of Plenty DHB will receive $772,000 over the next four years for the cancer coordination nurse initiative.”
Tony says cancer patients can come into contact with up to 28 doctors and even more nurses during their treatment, sometimes from more than one district health board.
“This can be extremely stressful and confusing.
“These specialist nurses will act as a single point of contact so patients and their families no longer have to contact multiple people from different parts of the health service to find out about their care.”
He says better care coordination means patients will receive a more personalised service, reduce delays and have a less stressful experience.
“By working closely with patients, the nurses will also have an important role in identifying areas in their DHB where further improvements can be made.”
It is expected the 40 cancer coordination nurses across the country will be working in district health boards by the end of the year.
This National Government initiative was announced in Budget 2012 as part of a funding $33 million package aimed at further improving cancer services.