The clinical haematology department is involved in diagnosing and treating diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
Although it is part of the Regional Cancer Treatment Service (RCTS), only some of the patients have blood cancers. Many have other blood diseases or problems.
The clinical haematology department also give advice to other doctors; for example, if a patient has problems with bleeding after surgery.
Finally, some of the unit's work takes place “behind the scenes” in the laboratory, helping to analyse some blood tests and giving advice to the blood transfusion service.
The unit treats patients in all the areas that the Regional Cancer Treatment Service covers.
The clinic rooms and offices of the clinical haematology department are on the first floor of Palmerston North Hospital.
Haematology doctors also travel to see patients in regional centres. These clinics are usually once a month (once every three months in Gisborne). Patients who need to be seen more urgently usually have to come to Palmerston North.
Patients who need to stay overnight in hospital are usually admitted to Ward 23
, the Regional Cancer Treatment Service ward, even if their illness is not a cancer. Some patients who come for blood transfusions or intravenous (drip) medicines do not need to stay overnight.
In Palmerston North they can be treated in the Transitory Care Unit (on the ground floor of the hospital) or in the Medical Oncology Day Ward
. For patients who live in other areas, local arrangements can often be made for treatment.