WDHB receives pleasing target results for second quarter

The Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) second quarter target results for 2011/2012 show the WDHB taking top place for the Better diabetes and cardiovascular services (81 percent), first equal for Shorter waits for cancer treatment (100 percent achieved by all DHBs) and second place with 115 percent for Improved access to elective surgery.
For Increased immunisation, the WDHB slipped from 11th place to 12th equal with 91 percent (the same result as last quarter and only four percent below the 95 percent target) – a result WDHB immunisation target champion Melissa Cragg says is due in large part, to the steady five percent of parents who choose not to immunise their children.
“This is a parental choice that makes it difficult for us to further improve our immunisation results,” Dr Cragg says. “We continually strive to improve our results through the work of our dedicated primary health and outreach teams who work tirelessly to track down children not being immunised or those who have not completed their immunisation programme.
“The outreach staff visiting those who decline to immunise their children are very vigilant about doing this. Sometimes they will sit outside homes waiting for parents and caregivers to return at the end of the day. However, we have to respect that a lot of these families are making an informed decision and it’s important we recognise that this four percent only represents a handful of children scattered across the region.”
For Shorter stays in emergency departments the WDHB moved up from 11th place (90 percent) to 10th place with 94 percent (against the 95 percent target) which WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson says is very encouraging.
“Moving people from the Emergency Department onto wards within six hours for example, is a team effort between Emergency Department staff, ward staff and the duty nurse managers.”
While it was slightly disappointing to see the WDHB slip one place to second for Improved access to elective services, Mrs Patterson says to achieve 115 percent (15 percent above the 100 percent target) is a credit to all staff concerned.
For theBetter help for smokers to quit target the WDHB moved from 4th place (96 percent) to 6th place with 95 percent. Smokefree liaison educator Barbara Greene says the smoking target is still a relatively new intervention which requires staff to remain focused on providing patients with help to become smokefree.
“We can’t afford to take our eyes off this task. While we’re very pleased to have reached the 95 percent target our aim continues to be making sure that smokers coming into our hospital receive the best possible support to become smokefree,” Ms Greene says.
Mrs Patterson says she’s delighted the WDHB has held the top positions for Better diabetes and cardiovascular services and Shorter waits for cancer treatment. She says the Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation can take the credit for theBetter diabetes and cardiovascular services results and she paid tribute to MidCentral Health who she says provide a wonderful service for cancer patients across the two regions.