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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

May 17, 2013

New role means better service for cancer patients

Former practice nurse at the Greymouth Rural Academic Practice, Andrea Reilly has been appointed into a new role of Cancer Nurse Coordinator for the West Coast District Health Board.

The position, which Andrea started on Monday 6 May, was established with funding from the Ministry of Health (MoH) as part of its Faster Cancer Treatment Programme.

Andrea says the purpose of the position is to increase coordination of services to patients who have been identified as having high suspicion of cancer or diagnosis of cancer. She will oversee their transition from primary (GP) care to secondary (hospital) treatment and ensure the entire cancer service on the West Coast runs smoothly.

The Ministry of Health says the Faster Cancer Treatment Programme will "improve services by standardising care pathways and timeliness of services for cancer patients throughout New Zealand ... Over time all patients will have access to the same quality care within the same timeframes, no matter where they live".

Appointed as part of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) team, Andrea will be working with clinical nurse specialists in oncology and palliative care, ensuring things run smoothly for patients using the Transalpine Service - a partnership with specialists from Canterbury DHB.

Andrea came to the West Coast in 2001 after graduating from nursing study at CPIT that year. She did her graduate trainee (NetP) year in the emergency department at Grey Base Hospital before working part time in district nursing and part time for Urology Associates. Later she took a role as district nurse/practice nurse in the Grey Valley clinic, working autonomously with a GP visiting one day a week, then went to the Rural Academic Practice.

"I have dealt with people on their cancer journey with bladder cancers and looking after clients as they journey to the end of life in district nursing," Andrea says. "If I can do a nursing role that means people on a cancer journey don't have to deal with extraneous stress when they are already in a stressful state considering a life-threatening illness, then I have done a good job," she says.

Nurse Manager Community Services and Primary Health, Maureen Frankpitt, says she is pleased to have Andrea on the CNS team.

"She could see boundless possibilities in the role and she felt working as a team was the key to success. She is all about getting the best outcomes for the patient in the quickest timeframes possible," Maureen says.

One of Andrea's ideas to improve the cancer service is to train in chemotherapy so when the person who usually deals with that is on leave, she could step into the role ensuring there are no gaps in the service and the person responsible for chemotherapy treatment can also step into her role when she is absent.

She will also be ensuring timely reporting on MoH indicators:

  • All patients referred urgently with a high-suspicion of cancer receive their first treatment (or other management) within 62 days of the referral being received by the hospital.
  • All patients referred urgently with a high-suspicion of cancer have their first specialist assessment within 14 days of the referral being received by the hospital.
  • All patients with a confirmed diagnosis of cancer receive their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 31 days of a decision-to-treat.

"If I can help get those people through the service in the most efficient time and the most effective way, I would be happy with that job," Andrea says.



For further information contact:

Steve Attwood
Communications Team
m: 027 419-1080
Corporate - West Coast District Health Board
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840

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