WDHB achieves well in health targets results

27 November 2012

The Whanganui District Health Board’s first quarter health target results prove staff commitment to seeing the WDHB placed in the top 10 for every result across the board has held firm.
The National Health Targets are a set of performance measures for New Zealand’s 20 DHBs, specifically designed to improve the performance of health services.
Released today, the results show the WDHB is achieving four of the six targets and holding up well against the country’s other 19 DHBs. Once again, all 20 achieved a 100 percent result for Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment which now targets chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy wait times.
 The WDHB achieved a pleasing 107 percent for Improved Access to Elective Surgery. For Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments, the WDHB achieved the third highest result on the leader board with 96 percent against the 95 percent target. Emergency Department (ED) director Athol Steward was delighted to see ED achieve the target adding it’s important to note this was due to an ‘all of hospital’ effort.
 “It’s not only our staff who achieve this,” Dr Steward says.  “We’re very dependent on our colleagues. They keep the patient flow moving by, amongst other things, carefully managing bed availability and ward discharges.”
Another pleasing result for the WDHB was reaching 90 percent for Increased Immunisation, which now targets eight-month-olds, against the 85 percent target. WDHB immunisation steering group chair Melissa Cragg paid tribute to Whanganui’s ongoing collaborative effort to improving immunisation rates which she says includes, a wide range of health and social service providers in the WDHB region.
 “Special mention should be made of the Immunisation Team at Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation (Sue Hina and Janine Spence) and our National Immunisation Register administrator (Heather Steele),” Dr Cragg says.
“Together they developed, and continue to improve, the process around the new eight-month target which ensures early referral to outreach services for those families who require additional support to have their children immunised on time.”
For the remaining results, the WDHB achieved 59 percent for Heart and Diabetes Checks against the 75 percent target which no DHB achieved. The highest score was 65 percent.
And for Better Help for Smokers to Quit, the WDHB achieved 93 percent for the 95 percent target.  Chief executive Julie Patterson says this is a disappointing result given that the WDHB has been meeting the target for quite some time.
“We’re determined to change this result next quarter and will continue to work with our primary health care colleagues toward achieving the More Heart and Diabetes Checks target,” Mrs Patterson says. “Overall I’m satisfied that Whanganui performs well against other DHBs but there is always room for improvement.”