MP Chester Borrows congratulates WDHB for elective surgery results
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MP Chester Borrows congratulates WDHB for elective surgery results21.8.2012
 
Before returning to Wellington on Tuesday, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows met with key Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) staff to congratulate them for their input into the WDHB’s outstanding elective surgery results.
 
In the space of 12 months, Whanganui has gone from having  85 patients waiting longer than six months for either a specialist’s appointment to assess whether or not they needed treatment, or for the operation itself, to having no-one waiting longer than six months, Mr Borrows said.
 
When presenting a certificate of appreciation (on behalf of Health Minister Tony Ryall) to WDHB business manager Peter Wood-Bodley, surgical nurse manager Jon Buchan, clinical nurse manager, theatre cervices Di Carson, elective services contracts manager Kara Oulaghan and patient scheduling team leader Kay Munro, Mr Borrows said it was a remarkable achievement and huge credit to WDHB staff for their strong focus on improving frontline service to patients.
 
“These improvements are very good for patients,” Mr Borrows said. “Prompter treatment not only improves a patient’s recovery but it helps patients get back to normal life sooner.”
 
Seventeen of New Zealand’s 20 DHBs have now succeeded in reducing their waiting times to zero for patients waiting over six months for surgical appointments.
 
And for the fourth year in a row, New Zealand has seen record increases in the number of elective operations with an additional 7500 patients and 153,000 patients in total across the country receiving elective surgery in the last 12 months.
 
Ms Oulaghan said  the WDHB’s success is not about any one person but rather, a large team effort by many staff and many departments.
 
She said the large volume of elective surgical work put through during the 2011/12 financial year was the highest volume the WDHB had ever delivered.
 
“The hospital was very busy, and at times, somewhat hectic, so the electives team is very proud of everyone and their efforts,” Ms Oulaghan said. 
 
Aware Ministry of Health (MOH) waiting times are expected to reduce even further over the next two years, the WDHB will be streamlining its processes to ensure the following new targets implemented by the MOH from 01 July 2012 are met.  
 
No patient waiting greater than six months          from                 01 July 2012
No patient waiting greater than five months         from                 01 July 2013
No patient waiting greater than four months      from                   01 July 2014
 
This is for both first specialist assessment and inpatient surgical waiting lists, for all specialties.
Failing to be compliant at any stage will incur financial penalties for DHBs.