13 Jun 2009

Wellington child cancer services cut back

11:33 am on 13 June 2009

After months of speculation, Wellington Hospital has confirmed cutbacks to its specialist child cancer services.

Capital and Coast District Health Board has confirmed the hospital's paediatric oncology unit will stay open, but cases involving initial and complex chemotherapies will be sent to Auckland or Christchurch from next month.

Two oncologists, a husband and wife, who have been employed since October will depart next month, leaving only a locum in place.

There are five inpatients in the unit, and a further 22 receiving outpatient treatment.

The board is discussing their continuing care and offering their families extra help for out-of-town transport and accommodation.