Standards of Care

The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Network, with the support of the Ministry of Health, has developed a document describing best practice in service provision for AYA cancer patients in NZ, including standards of care. This will sit alongside the existing 11 tumour based standards.

The goal of the standards is to achieve excellence in AYA cancer care and address outcome disparities for certain ethnic, disease specific and age related populations for and among AYA in New Zealand. The standards will drive measurable quality improvements for this age group by enabling:

 1/ Health professionals to make decisions about care based on the latest evidence and best practice.

 2/ Young people receiving health and supportive care services, their whānau and carers and the public to find information about the quality of services and care they should expect from their providers.

 3/ Service providers to quickly and easily examine the performance of their organisation and assess improvement in standards of care they provide.

 4/ Funders to be confident that the services they are purchasing are high quality and cost effective and focused on driving up quality.

The document adopts a specific youth development focus with recognition of young people’s full cancer trajectory from presentation to survivorship, the delivery of developmentally appropriate care and institutional support.

Heidi Watson

The Clinical Leader is responsible for providing clinical leadership and national oversight of the network .

Heidi is a passionate and experienced health professional with a strong clinical, education and leadership background. Her enthusiasm for, and commitment to youth health has focused on improving the outcomes of youth with cancer and chronic health conditions. Previously, Heidi held the position of AYA Cancer Nurse Specialist for Auckland District Health Board. Alongside her AYA clinical leadership role she holds a youth health academic position at the University of Auckland.