Our Facebook Group Head & Neck Cancer Support


As a head and neck cancer patient you have a number of support resources available to help you. 

You will need to be a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident to access this support.

Authored by Diana Ayling

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  • There seems to a fault in the above link, but I think this one will work:


    I thank the powers that be who set up the 24 hour Healthline as, without their advice my partner could well have died when a twinge in his side he thought was either indigestion or a muscle aching turned out to be acute appendicitis.
    Nursing and medical help at home
    If you have a disability, an injury or ongoing health problems, a nurse or other health professionals can visit you to help with medications and othe…
  • The Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSF) information on the “Advanced Care Planning”, for palliative care patients.
    Freefone number: 0800 4712712
    Email them on: info@hqsc.govt.nz
    The website link is:

    The Ministry of Health (MOH) for information on palliative care the link is:

    Email address: info@health.govt.nz
    Freefone on 0800 855066 for eligibility (option 3), carer support (option 2) and disability support services (option 4). Palliative care involves supporting and helping the person to live as comfortably and fully as possible.
    • A ‘life-limiting illness’ is one that cannot be cured and may at some time result in the person dying (whether that is years, months, weeks or days away).
    • Palliative care involves providing assistance at all stages of the life-limiting illness.
    Palliative care is provided in the community, in hospices and in hospitals.
    • It can be provided by all health care professionals, including GPs and district nurses – supported where necessary by specialist palliative care services.
    • Hospices are the main providers of specialist palliative care services for people living in the community.

    Your rights under the code include:
    • a right to receive the information you need to make decisions about your health and about any tests, procedures or treatments
    • a right to have information provided in a way that you understand
    • a right to make an informed choice and give your informed consentbefore you undergo a test, procedure or treatment
    • a right to be treated with respect and dignity, taking into account your cultural needs and values
    • a right to have a support person with you, at most times
    • a right to services being provided with reasonable care and skill
    • a right to complain about a provider, in a way that is appropriate for you.
  • Thanks Gloria. I hope that anyone not receiving the services they need approaches the Health and Disability Advocates... http://headandneck.org.nz/news/our-march-speaker-health-and-disabil...
    Auckland's March speaker: Health and Disability Advocacy Service.
    The Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service is a free service that operates independently from all health and disability service providers,…
    • There is no longer a local advocate for the HDC in Wanganui as she resigned last year, I am aware that there is a remote advocate somewhere to cover the Wanganui area but I have no experience of the service provided. Our local advocate (Bronwyn Hughes) was our rock, so, if the HDC cannot keep good staff in the advocacy service portion of the organisation, then there is something wrong with that area of the system too. And, personally, I no longer have any faith in the HDC system due to the lack of communication from the HDC head office staff, can't get them on the phone, they don't acknowledge or answer emails promptly - if at all. Frustrating, obstructive, stressful, uncommunicative, etc, etc, etc.
      • Hi Gloria, have you thought of the services of your local Community Law. They can work for you when you have reached an impasse with the agencies you are working with. I know that sometimes we are no longer heard because we have been hitting an issue hard for a long time. Another voice, acting for us, can change the dynamics and ensure our situation is heard. http://communitylaw.org.nz/centre/whanganui/
        • Already doing so, no progress to report.
  • Wanganui does have a scheme but (as far as I am aware) it's not really up to scratch. I have a friend (in the local diabetes support group) whose sister-in-law was supposed to be having a service they call "hospital in the home", run via the district nurse service. It has failed completely as they cannot supply PEG spares and equipment, the poor woman was left without sustenance for 2 days because nobody could supply a length of tubing. The connection to her inlet/outlet leaked and she was left to clean up the mess, change her bedding and laundering everything. Her husband is wheel chair bound and cannot help. She has terminal cancer with a prognisis of a maximum of 6 months and was only diagnosed a month ago after 5 months of complaining that she was in pain and was having difficulty swallowing. She was constantly told that there was nothing wrong until she saw the ENT surgeon who was the only medical professional who made the correct diagnosis. She has suffered (and will continue to suffer) abominably, she has just been admitted to the local Hospice where she is to stay until a rest home bed becomes available. Her husband is distraught and very, very angry. It's a tradgedy that happens more frequently than we would all like to admit, especially here in Wanganui where the system does not work.

    Footnote :
    Heather has now passed away and never did get that bed.
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