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Ward 23 Oncology

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Ward 23 provides care and treatment within the three main cancer specialties:
Medical Oncology (Chemotherapy), Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy) and Clinical Haematology (Blood Conditions).

Information for Ward 23 Patients and Visitors



There are 8 side rooms, six with en-suite (bathrooms and toilets attached), two 2-bedded rooms and two 4-bedded rooms. Other services provided:
  • Lounge: The ward lounge and outdoor balcony area is for the use of patient’s and visitors. There is a television, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities
  • Kitchen: The kitchen has a microwave, fridge, toaster and blender for patient use
  • Laundry: The ward has a washing machine and clothes drier available for patient’s personal laundry. This was kindly donated by the Cancer Society.
  • Newspaper: there are two newspapers offered for sale during the day. Free copies of local papers from the regions are also delivered to the ward lounge several times each week courtesy of the regional Cancer Society branches.
  • Recreation: There is a patient ‘Time-out’ room where patients can get away from the clinical surroundings for a while if they choose. Ward patients are able to use the Resource room situated in Radiotherapy dept where there is a selection of patient information pamphlets and books and a computer with internet access for email and additional information from other cancer websites.


Admission to Ward 23

What to bring?
Please bring all your current medications with you as well as any aides you routinely use such as glasses, hearing aids, and for mobilising, such as splints, braces or walking frames. Personal items you should also bring include toiletries and comfortable night and day wear. People in hospital may get dressed during the day if they wish. Clothing should be comfortable and suitable to be washed and dried in the ward laundry. You are welcome to bring a pillow from home if you wish. A warm dressing gown, sweatshirt or jacket are advisable for transfers to other departments in the hospital such as X-ray that may be required as part of your treatment and to make use of the outdoor balcony. You may also bring pastimes such as reading, crosswords, knitting etc.
Travel Assistance
Patients travelling from outside of Palmerston North for treatment may be entitled to financial assistance with costs associated with travel. A pamphlet titled Travel and Accommodation Assistance outlines the assistance available and has an application form attached. Pamphlets are available from all the treatment areas or directly from the MidCentral Health Welfare Officer ph (06) 350 8944. Questions related to accommodation or travel assistance should go directly to the Welfare Officer.
When patients are admitted to Ward 23, the nurses do an assessment of the person’s physical and emotional condition. There is a section in this assessment on values and beliefs. This is an opportunity for patients to identify any particular cultural requirements or to request a visit from a minister or Maori Health Unit staff.
If a person has been a patient in another hospital within three months of being admitted to Ward 23, they may need to be nursed in isolation from other patients in a single room within the ward. This is called Contact Isolation and it is because there is a particular germ which lives in hospitals called Methycillin-Resistant-Staphylococcus-Aureus (MRSA).
Some patients, as a result of their treatment, may be temporarily more prone to infection than usual. For this reason these patients are also nursed in isolation in a single room within the ward. Doctors and nurses also wear gloves and gowns over their clothing when in direct contact with the patient. This is called Protective Isolation and it is an attempt to protect these patients from common germs.


Visiting Hours

Ward 23 has an open visiting policy so visitors are able to come at anytime during the day and before 8pm in the evening. In some circumstances this can be extended by arrangement with the Charge Nurse. Sometimes it is important to limit the number of visitors a patient has at a time because of the risk of infection, the patients general condition or the other people in the room. Relatives are not encouraged to stay overnight unless there are specific circumstances and these can be negotiated with the Charge Nurse.
MidCentral hospital campus has a non-smoking policy. For patients who smoke and are admitted to hospital, a Quit-Coach is available to visit and supply you with nicotine patches free of charge, to help you over this period. There is designated smoker’s kiosk outside the main clinical services block for mobile patients. In certain circumstances, where it is not appropriate for patients to leave the ward, arrangements may be made with the Charge Nurse for patients to use the balcony area.


Staff Roles



Each treatment specialty (Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Clinical Haematology) has:
Senior Medical Officers:
Consultants who are responsible for the overall treatment of their patients and who hold regular ward rounds where patient care and management is discussed. These doctors also hold regular outpatient clinics for treatment, follow-up and new patient referrals both in Palmerston North and the regional hospitals within the Regional Cancer Treatment Service area (Wanganui, Levin, Taranaki, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wairairapa). They work Monday- Friday during the day and are on call on rotation after-hours and over the weekend.
Senior doctors who work in the wards and assist the consultants in their clinics.  They work Monday-Friday during the day and are on call on rotation after-hours and over the weekend.
House Surgeons
Junior doctors who attend to the day to day care of patients in the ward. They work Monday to Friday and then on call on rotation after-hours and over the weekend. 


Charge Nurses:
Inpatient and Outpatient.  Wears a white tunic with red trim and green trousers. They work Monday-Friday 8am-4.30pm.
Staff Nurses:
Registered nurses who are responsible for the day to day care of their assigned patients. There are three 8 hour shifts of  Staff Nurses which covers the 24 hr period. Nurses work their shifts according to a roster. Staff Nurses wear a white tunic with green trim and green trousers/shorts.
Care Assistants:
Assist nurses with some patient care and attend to ward duties such as morning and afternoon teas, meal distribution, filing and ward tidying. They are available to do patient’s personal laundry while in the ward. Care Assistants wear a green checked tunic with green trousers/ shorts.


Cancer Society Companion Scheme

Cancer Society volunteers visit Ward 23 weekly to offer support and company to patients and their family. This may take the form of visits, errands or short excursions out of the hospital where appropriate. Cancer Society volunteers extend this offer also to out of town relatives who accompany patients and spend extended periods of time away from home. If you would like to put in contact with a Cancer Society volunteer, please speak to your nurse or ring the local Cancer Society branch, as privacy regulations mean that volunteers cannot approach patients directly.

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