Waikato cancer patients can look forward improved support following the appointment of four registered nurse co-ordinators and a clinical nurse specialist.
It is part of the Government's $4 million-a-year programme to give cancer patients in every district health board specialist support and co-ordinated care.
The nurses are dedicated to guiding patients through treatment and follow up. They act as a single point of contact from referral, through the diagnosis and into treatment meaning patients and their families no longer have to deal with multiple people from different parts of the health service.
The four registered nurse co-ordinators specialise in a specific type, or types, of cancer - myeloma and lymphoma, melanoma and neurology, upper gastrointestinal tract, and non specific tumour stream cancers.
"Patients with suspected cancer are already frightened. It is our job to walk alongside them at this terrifying time and give them peace of mind when trying to navigate through the hospital system," newly-appointed, registered nurse co-ordinator Lee-Ann Creagh said.
Fifty new nurses have been appointed across New Zealand. They are establishing national and regional networks and links to provide co-ordinated support and advocacy for cancer patients.