WDHB welcomes positive health target results

28 May 2013
The Ministry of Health’s quarter three health target results released today show the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) achieving 100 percent target results for Improved access to elective surgery and Shorter waits for cancer treatment and results above target for Shorter stays in Emergency Departments and Increased immunisation.
WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson said she was delighted the WDHB placed third equal on the leader board with 97 percent for Shorter stays in emergency departments. Not only was this two percent above target but a two percent improvement on the WDHB’s result in the previous quarter.
“To perform well in this area tells us that our community is being well served in getting timely service,” Mrs Patterson said.
Mrs Patterson said staff organisation-wide should also feel proud because by asking that 95 percent of patients are admitted, discharged, or transferred from ED within six hours, the target expects that patient-flow across the whole hospital is efficient.
Seeing the WDHB’s result for Increased immunisation lift from 90 percent to 92 percent (7 points above the 85 percent target) was another highlight for Mrs Patterson who said staff from WDHB and the PHOs continue to work very hard at promoting and delivering immunisations to Whanganui families. She was also pleased to see the WDHB’s More heart and diabetes checks target result rise from 59 percent to 61 percent because “I know how hard the  general practices are working to lift this result to meet the 75 percent target and I’m sure we will see continued improvement in this effort”.
To see Whanganui Hospital improve two points to achieve the 95 percent target for Better help for smokers to quit was news Mrs Patterson welcomed.  Performance against this target has been frustrating she said, but at last we seem to be achieving the result we desire across the hospital.
Mrs Patterson and Whanganui-based GP and national tobacco target champion John McMenamin are both impressed by the way hospital and primary care staff are working together to improve support to patients wanting to quit smoking – support which includes GPs following up patients discharged from hospital.
While the Better help for smokers to quit result for primary care (target 90 percent) only reached 42 percent, Dr McMenamin says it was a significant jump from the 35 percent achieved in the previous quarter and significant to know that 42 percent of the Whanganui residents who smoke have had a discussion with their GP or practice nurse in the last year.
“Research shows that not only do most smokers want to quit but a discussion with a GP or practice nurse does boost the numbers who do this,” Dr McMenamin says. “Over the next quarter we will be phoning, and where possible texting, smokers who have not seen their GPs during the past year to see if they too would like support to help them stop smoking.”
And last but not least, Mrs Patterson said thanks to the wonderful service the Whanganui DHB and community receives from MidCentral Health and the region’s cancer services, “once again we were right on target for Shorter waits for cancer. Because many people are affected by cancer, to have MidCentral consistently achieving this target needs positive recognition,” Mrs Patterson said.

Click here to view the full National Health Targets results table