Extra nurses to give 'personalised' service

19:06, Aug 23 2012

Southland and Otago will get three cancer co-ordination nurses within the year as part of a nationwide scheme to provide a more personalised service to cancer patients.

Southern District Health Board deputy chief executive Lexie O' Shea said this week she welcomed the Government initiative.

While it was not yet known where the nurses would be placed, it would allow for a more co-ordinated service for cancer patients, she said.

Health Minister Tony Ryall announced on Wednesday that the Southern district would get $960,000 during the next four years for the programme, which aimed to give cancer patients more personalised service and would reduce delays.

"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," Mr Ryall said. "This can be extremely stressful and confusing."

It was expected that 40 cancer co-ordination nurses would be working in district health boards around the country by the end of the year, he said.

The $16 million initiative was announced in Budget 2012 as part of a $33m package to improve cancer services.

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The Southland Times