WDHB health target results show smokefree message getting through

26 November 2014
Today’s release of the 2014/15 Quarter One national health target results show the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) exceeding the hospital target for Better help for smokers to quit. Required to achieve 95 percent of Wanganui Hospital patients who smoke being offered advice and support to quit, the WDHB reached 97 percent.
WDHB patient safety and quality manager Lucy Dunlop says having a hospital liaison quit coach visit Wanganui Hospital’s Medical, Surgical and Maternity Wards every morning is having a positive impact on encouraging patients to give up. “The WDHB contracts the quit coach to provide advice to patients and staff during patients’ stay in hospital,” Mrs Dunlop says. “By doing this we are also linking patients to those who can provide ongoing support once they are discharged.”
Meanwhile, Whanganui GP and national tobacco targets champion Dr John McMenamin says he’s delighted to see the primary care Better help for smokers to quit target result jump from 76 percent to 84 percent which he attributes to two reasons - determination among health workers to encourage people to quit smoking and improved reporting in Whanganui’s GP practices.
Dr McMenamin is also celebrating Whanganui’s success in exceeding the 90 percent national target for More heart and diabetes checks by one percent “thanks to the efforts of general practice teams and the Whanganui Regional Health Network’s success in targeting patients who have not had a completed cardiovascular disease risk assessment”.
Emergency Department clinical director Athol Steward says the WDHB is disappointed its hospital-wide efforts to admit, discharge or transfer 95 percent of patients from ED within the six hour target fell short by 2 percent. “It shows us when the hospital is particularly busy as it was this winter, the target is at risk so we need to prepare now to ensure the patient journey through ED runs smoothly during the demanding winter months,” Mr Steward says.
Whanganui DHB chief executive Julie Patterson says the WDHB’s 102 percent result for the 100 percent Improved access to elective surgery  target sends a strong signal that Whanganui district residents enjoy a high access rate to elective surgical procedures.
The 95 percent target result for Increased immunisation was unfortunately missed by 3 percent but Mrs Patterson says primary health staff out in the community are working extremely hard to capture children due for their immunisations. She urges families to immunise their children as recommended within their Well Child baby books.
As expected, all 20 DHBs again achieved 100 percent for the Shorter waits for cancer treatment target - a result Mrs Patterson says the WDHB never takes lightly. “It requires dedication and effort from many staff working collaboratively across the Whanganui and MidCentral DHBs to ensure Whanganui’s cancer patients wait less than four weeks for radiotherapy or chemotherapy,” she says.
Click here to view the full WDHB National Health Target results table