A record number of doctors and nurses are caring for patients in Whanganui, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

As of March 31, there were more than 80 doctor full-time equivalents and more than 320 nurse full-time equivalents working for Whanganui District Health Board.

That is almost 20 more doctors and 30 more nurses than there were in 2008.

Associate director of nursing Jevada Haitana said tools and programmes such as Trendcare and the Care Capacity Demand Management Programme allowed them to figure out their required nursing resource.

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"These are tools and programmes that are used both nationally and internationally to provides us with the assurance that we have the nursing staff required to provide the appropriate hours of patient care," she said.

"This has increased nursing resource especially in regards to patient observations where confused patients at risk of falling have a health care assistant assigned to them to provide observation and diversional therapy."

Nationally, there were more than 7880 doctor full-time equivalents and 22,500 nurse full-time equivalents employed by district health boards.