WDHB achieves two top health target results

For the third quarter in a row the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) has placed top of the table for improved access to elective surgery.
The Ministry of Health’s target results for the January to March 2011 period show the WDHB achieved 118 percent in the elective surgery category - 18 points more than its first quarter result, three points more than its second quarter result and 16 points more than the 102 percent national average.
The WDHB was also one of 15 DHBs nationwide to achieve 100 percent in the shorter waits for cancer treatment category. WDHB Chief Executive Julie Patterson paid tribute today to Palmerston North Hospital which she said had done an excellent job in achieving this target for the populations served by the Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs. 
And the WDHB ranked second highest among the country’s 20 DHBs for providing better diabetes and cardiovascular services.
Population, Health and Inequalities Manager Rowena Kui said while the diabetes and cardiovascular service doesn't have a national target, there is an expectation that DHBs will set their own.
“To be placed second on the table and well above the national average of 73% is very encouraging,” Mrs Kui said. “I think our primary care teams and the providers they work alongside can feel very proud of their efforts.”
Another WDHB staff member pleased with the latest target results was Smokefree Coordinator Julie Tolladay-Poulton who was delighted with the 78% achieved for inpatient smokers receiving advice and offers of assistance to quits.
Mrs Tolladay-Poulton said 78 percent not only sat comfortably above the 74% national average, but it demonstrated the WDHB's rapid improvement from 19th in the first quarter (49%) to 9th equal in the third quarter.
“Following our 93.4 percent result in April, I fully expect the WDHB to achieve the 90 percent target by the end of June 2011,” Mrs Tolladay-Poulton said.
Public and Population Health Portfolio Manager Lauren Tamehanawas pleased to see the WDHB achieve one percent more than the 90 percent target, two percent more than the 89 percent national average and a ranking of 6th place for increased immunisation.
She said the primary care teams had worked extremely hard to stress how important immunisation is for the ‘wellbeing of our tamariki’.
Meanwhile the WDHB ranked number 12 in the shorter stays in ED (95 percent of people presenting to the Emergency Department to be admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours) category with 88 percent - one percent below the national average of 89 percent and seven percent below the 95 percent target.
Mrs Patterson said while the result was disappointing, staff had been working very hard over the past few months to improve the wait times and she was confident much improved results would be achieved.
“Our aim is to be in the top 10 for each of the six targets,” Mrs Patterson said. “I’m comfortable that we’re on track to achieve that by the end of the final quarter. Overall, I’m very satisfied with the progress made by our staff and primary care colleagues.”