Te Mana Hauora O Te Tairawhiti
12 August 2014
All patients staying at the Cancer Society’s Lions Lodge in Hamilton, while having treatment, will now be able to join other patients in the dining room for an evening meal. They will also be able to bring a support person with them.
Tairawhiti District Health (TDH) and the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society, the charitable organisation that owns and operates the lodge, have been working together to find a solution so that everyone staying at the Lodge could sit down to a healthy evening meal provided by the Cancer Society.
The solution is there will be two sittings in the dining room each evening and Tairawhiti patients, and their support person, will be invited to the first sitting.
“We are very pleased to have found a solution to this issue,” says TDH Chief Executive Jim Green. The two sittings mean that everyone can enjoy an evening meal which hasn’t happened previously due to limited space in the dining room.”
"This is a very satisfactory resolution to an ongoing issue for our Tairawhiti patients, said TDH Board Chair David Scott. We are grateful for the cooperation of both the Chair of Waikato District Health Board and Waikato Bay of Plenty Cancer Society assisting the achievement of this desired change."
Cancer treatment services for Tairawhiti patients moved from Palmerston North to Hamilton 12 months ago. Key in that decision by TDH was the opportunity to “smooth the patient journey” so that the majority of patients could have treatment completed in one location, rather than having to travel to different parts of the country for different cancer treatments.
At the time of transition TDH committed to ensure patients received as good as, or better service, than they did in Palmerston North. At Ozanam House in Palmerston North self-catering units were available during the week and weekends with room for family members. Meals were not provided to any guests.
“Feedback from our lodge users is that the facility is modern and comfortable with friendly staff all too ready to assist guests. However, we’re really happy that Gisborne people can now share a meal with the other guests who are going through similar treatment and experiences” says Waikato Bay of Plenty Cancer Society spokesperson Rachael Mounsey.
The evening meals will be offered Monday to Thursday. The dining room isn’t open on weekends as most guests from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty travel home on the weekends. Tairawhiti patients will be able to stay but will need to use the self-catering facilities in their unit over the weekend.
The Cancer Society has recently implemented a volunteer to patient/family service so that Tairawhiti people have a single point of contact for support during their stay in Hamilton on the weekends.
Gisborne East Coast Cancer Trust Chair, Nona Aston wants to thank Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society and TDH Board and Chief Executive, Jim Green for their efforts achieving this great outcome for our people. “Tairawhiti people will now have equal opportunity to interact with other patients on the same cancer journey as they are. Support mechanisms, not only clinical results, are particularly important for patients and their families to support wellness for mind and body during a cancer journey.”