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.

Hospital in the Home service from your local hospital

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.  Link for the WDHB information is:


Hospital in the Home

Whanganui District Health Board residents requiring hospitalisation have the option of being provided with hospital level healthcare at home. Hospital in the Home (HITH) is a free service to deliver specialist level treatment to patients outside the hospital environment.

Under the Hospital in the Home programme patients retain a degree of independence, remaining in the comfort and privacy of their own home.  New Zealand studies have demonstrated that for selected patients, a carefully managed programme offers increased patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes.

Patients remain under the direct care of a specialist consultant. The core of the service is provided by the district nurses, although medical specialist practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers are all part of the Hospital in the Home team.

Individuals who are suffering from an acute illness or an acute episode of a chronic illness and require specialist level medical and nursing care are eligible for this service. Each individual is assessed by medical and nursing staff for their suitability to receive this service. However, not all patients are suitable candidates for Hospital in the Home. Patients that are not suitable for this service remain in hospital.

Hospital in the Home patients have immediate access back into the hospital should their condition deteriorate or they experience any difficulties.

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G M Rigg

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  • Heather has now passed away leaving a lonely distrught husband and never did get that bed.
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