WDHB posts pleasing health target results
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The Ministry of Health’s quarter four health target results released today, show the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) ranked second of 20 DHBs for its elective surgery, and diabetes and cardiovascular services results; third for its success in helping smokers to quit; and first equal for its success in providing shorter waiting times for cancer treatment.
 
While it was ranked 12th for its efforts to achieve shorter stays in the Emergency Department, the WDHB did lift its performance from 88 percent to 91 percent (target 95 percent) – three percent up on its results in the previous quarter and six percent up on the same time last year.
 
In real terms, 177 people waited more than six hours in July this year compared with 305 people who waited six hours or more in July last year.
 
And while the WDHB was ranked 14th for increased immunisation rates at 89 percent, that was only one percent below the target rate of 90 percent.
 
The results for the four remaining targets were:
 
  • For improved access to elective surgery the WDHB achieved 116 percent against a target of 100 percent.
 
  • For shorter waits for cancer treatment the WDHB achieved 100 percent against a target of 100 percent. 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. 
 
  • For its efforts in providing better help for smokers to quit, the WDHB achieved 97 percent against a target of 90 percent.
 
  • For diabetes and cardiovascular services which has no target rate, the WDHB’s 80 percent result sat well above the 72 percent average achieved by all 20 DHBs.
 
“I’m delighted with our performance,” Mrs Patterson said today. “There will always be room for improvement but we’ve made some very real progress over the past year and I thank all WDHB and primary care staff for the role they played in helping us reach our targets.”
  
Another staff member pleased with the latest target results was Smokefree coordinator Julie Tolladay-Poulton who was delighted with the 97 percent achieved for inpatient smokers receiving advice and offers of assistance to quit.
 
Mrs Tolladay-Poulton said to achieve seven points above the 90 percent target was very pleasing.
 
“Last quarter we sat at 78 percent so to leap 19 percent in one quarter is a fantastic effort and I applaud all the staff involved,” Mrs Tolladay-Poulton said.
 
Professional advisor health promotion Lauren Tamehanasaid while she was a little disappointed to learn the WDHB had dropped from 91 percent last quarter to 89 percent this quarter for immunisation, she felt to be just one percent under target was still a very respectable result.
 
“I know how hard our primary care providers work to encourage parents to immunise their children on time and I’m confident this will continue. Ultimately we would like nothing more than to see every child in our district immunised.”