The loss of systems at the Waikato DHB has been hugely disruptive for our clients across the Waikato, particularly our guests at the Cancer Society’s Lions Lodge who have travelled some distance for treatment at Waikato Hospital.
We are well aware of the extraordinary effort of our Waikato Hospital colleagues to ensure those in treatment or on waiting lists are reassessed and redirected to other treatment centres across New Zealand.
Our primary focus at present is working closely with our colleagues at the DHB and in other centres to help give clients some clarity about their care and to provide practical support to those people facing changes to their treatment.
Some clients have been relocated to Auckland and Wellington to continue radiation therapy treatment. We are connecting these clients with our Cancer Society colleagues in those centres to ensure they have access to support at this particularly difficult time in an unfamiliar city far from home.
Other clients have been relocated to Tauranga for treatment at Kathleen Kilgour Centre and we are providing wrap-around services to those clients to support them during their stay. This includes support from our nursing team, transport from accommodation to the centre for treatment, help with meals and counselling if required.
Some Hamilton clients and those from the wider Waikato who are guests at the Cancer Society’s Lions Lodge are also receiving treatment in Tauranga. In these cases, we are planning alternative transport to Tauranga as needed on a daily basis, including weekends.
The DHB has not been able to confirm at this stage when normal services will resume. We are making preparations to ensure we can deliver this additional support for some weeks.
This is a difficult time for many clients who are feeling anxious about delays to treatment and the burden of unexpected travel to get the treatment they need. Our focus is to provide them with as much support, information and care as possible.
Not all people receiving cancer treatment will be known to the Cancer Society. If anyone has been impacted and needs support we would urge them to get in contact on 0800 22 77 44.