DHBs commit to region planning
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The six District Health Boards (DHBs) providing health services to the central region are committed more than ever to working together to co-ordinate the planning and delivery of health services in the lower part of the North Island.
 
Following feedback from the National Health Board, the Central Region’s Regional Services Plan (RSP) which Capital & Coast Health, Hawkes’ Bay, Hutt Valley, MidCentral, Wairarapa and Whanganui DHBs developed collaboratively (with input from clinicians, managers and consumer representatives) has been signed off by Minister of Health Tony Ryall. 
 
Central Region DHBs Chairman Bob Francis says the six DHBs are committed to working together to ensure future sustainability, affordability and fair access to health services for everyone in the region.
 
“With all DHBs facing increasing demand on their services and funding pressures, a regional approach lets us find more and better arrangements for effectively and efficiently delivering health services that will ultimately, benefit the whole region,” Mr Francis says.
 
“The RSP is a significant step towards developing an ongoing, robust and co-ordinated regional work programme.  It covers the period from July 2011 to June 2012 and will be reviewed and updated annually.
                                           
“For the first year, the RSP outlines agreed regional priorities for action including achieving health targets for improving access to elective services and reducing wait times for cancer services, and strengthening vulnerable radiology and older adult services.
 
“The plan also prioritises focus on: Reviewing transport and accommodation for patients and clinicians, strengthening clinical leadership and governance, exploring a regional IT infrastructure, maximising financial resources by managing capital assets, sharing non-clinical shared services and progressing sub-regional activity already begun in some parts of the region.
 
“Each of the priority and action areas outlined in the RSP will be addressed as individual projects. At this early stage, plans for each project are being developed and progressed with a clinician or manager from the region appointed to take responsibility for each project on behalf of the region.
 
“When individual projects begin implementing actions we will measure and report outcomes and the benefits for patients,” Bob Francis said.
 
“The RSP is about working smarter and more sensibly as a region using our collective resources to plan for the future and meet the changing and diverse needs of our population and health sector workforce, ” WDHB Chief Executive Julie Paterson says.
“The RSP outlines how the Central Region DHBs will work together while requiring them to bring a regional perspective to their annual planning.
 
“This is the first year the RSP has been part of service planning and accountability documentation for the DHBs. It is a significant step in establishing an agreed framework and commitment to working together as a region that involves individual accountability for the results of that collaboration.
 
“Individual DHBs will need to identify specific actions they will undertake to give effect to the RSP at a local level in their Annual Plans.
“Ultimately our goal is to improve health outcomes for our region’s population irrespective of their postcode and proximity to a major hospital and that’s something we’ve all committed to for our whole region,” Mrs Patterson says.
 
For further information please contact:
 
Bob Francis,
Chairman Chairs and CEOs Committee, Central Region DHBs
Phone: 027 444 7677
Email: bobfrancis1@xtra.co.nz