WDHB just misses four of its six national health targets

23 August 2016
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) was tantalisingly close to meeting all six of the Government’s national health targets for April-June 2016 despite the fact four have eluded them.
Results released today show the WDHB as having achieved the following:
   Target  Result
 Improved Access to Elective Surgery  100%  113%
 More Heart and Diabetes Checks  90%  91%
 Increased Immunisation  95%  94%
 Faster Cancer Treatment  85%  83%
 Better Help for Smokers to Quit  90%  88%
 Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments  95%  92%
While a little disappointed, WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson says there is a silver lining to the results.
Increased Immunisation is up 2 percent from the previous quarter which Mrs Patterson says is a tribute to Whanganui’s immunisation team who work so hard to not only make sure Whanganui children receive their immunisations, but to make sure they receive them on time. “It also shows us that the number of families declining immunisations is finally dropping,” Mrs Patterson says.
The WDHB’s result for Faster Cancer Treatment  was also up 3 percent from 80 percent last quarter and Mrs Patterson says it was very pleasing to see Whanganui DHB sharing the top score Capital & Coast DHB.
And Better Help for Smokers To Quit rose from 86 percent the previous quarter to 88 percent in the April to June quarter which primary care Smokefree clinical champion John McMenamin says is the silver lining that Mrs Patterson sees.
“Regrettably, we are told a data extraction issue from one GP practice may have contributed to the decrease in our Better Help for Smokers To Quit result,” Dr McMenamin says. “But that aside, we’re still up on the previous quarter and I thank general practices for their dedicated efforts to support our ABC Smokefree programme.”
The only result that didn’t show an improvement was Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments which dropped 4 percent from 96 percent to 92 percent. Chief medical officer Frank Rawlinson says while the result is disappointing it is not unexpected. “Consistent with the rest of New Zealand, Whanganui has seen a considerable increase in presentations to Emergency Departments right across the country and these people have, in general, had more complex health issues,” Dr Rawlinson says.
Meanwhile the WDHB has, for the second quarter in a row, achieved a 113 percent result against the 100 percent target for Improved Access to Elective Surgery. And, the WDHB is pleased to have again surpassed the More Heart and Diabetes checks  target of 90 percent with 91 percent of people eligible for cardiovascular risk assessments in the last five years having had their assessment.
Click here for the full results table.