Whanganui tops two health target results
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Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) has much to celebrate having topped two of the six Ministry of Health quarter one health target results released today.
 
The WDHB has achieved an impressive 122 percent against a target of 100 percent for ‘Improved access to elective surgery’ – an improvement of six percent on last quarter’s results.
 
And its 83 percent result for the ‘Better diabetes and cardiovascular services’ category is significantly up on the 70 percent average for all 20 DHBs.
 
Manager population health and inequalities Rowena Kui said this was the result of hard work by  primary care and hospital specialist services working together to promote the importance of cardiovascular and diabetes screening and management “for people living in our community”.
 
“We’ve been focused on making sure that we’re collecting and reporting accurate information which better informs health professionals about disease prevalence in our community - and, that we’re monitoring the effectiveness of the way we’re working with patients and their families/whanau to encourage self management and improve health outcomes,”  Mrs Kui said.
 
Whanganui residents can also celebrate the board’s fourth placing for the ‘Better help for smokers to quit’ target for which it achieved 96 percent – one percent more than the target.
 
Smokefree coordinator Julie Tolladay-Poulton says while this is one percent and one place down on last quarter’s result (97 percent) it remains a large leap from the WDHB’s 78 percent result in the third quarter.
 
On a different note, WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson said while she would have liked to see Whanganui achieve more than 90 percent for “Shorter stays in emergency departments” (against the 95 percent target) there was some comfort in knowing this was the average achieved by all DHBs.
 
“We have to remember that winter illnesses generally make quarter one a difficult time of the year for emergency departments so I’m focused on the fact we’re continuing to make progress and ED is already showing improvement in the second quarter,” Mrs Patterson said.
 
“Overall I’m delighted with the WDHB’s performance which is a tribute to our staff and primary health colleagues and their ongoing efforts to keep lifting our results. This includes the wonderful work being done to increase immunisation rates in our region which are now back up to 91 percent.
 
“ We’re very aware that families who don’t complete their children’s vaccination course work against us so the WDHB has been reaching out and urging parents to ensure their children not only receive all their vaccinations but that they do so within the timeframe required.”
 
Mrs Patterson also paid tribute to MidCentral DHB for its contribution to Whanganui’s cancer results. “It’s their success story, not ours. The health sector as a whole can feel very proud that for a third quarter in a row, all 20 DHBs have achieved 100 percent for ‘Shorter waits for cancer treatment’,” she said.