Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Lakes DHB lifts performance in almost all health targets

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Rotorua Hospital.
Rotorua Hospital.

Lakes District Health Board has improved in almost all health targets - including shorter stays in emergency department, elective and faster cancer treatment targets.

However, the percentage of 8-month-olds immunised has taken a drop.

The quarterly health target results released by the Ministry of Health today show that for the period from July to September 2016 Lakes DHB improved in three target areas, stayed the same in one area, and dropped in one.

It also ranked sixth highest out of the 20 health boards nationwide for a new target - raising healthy kids.

One of the biggest changes was its performance against the faster cancer treatment target results - which has seen it jump to eighth place from its previous position at the bottom of the table.

Midland Cancer Network manager Jan Smith said they were delighted with the Lakes improvement, which she said was recognition of the "tremendous effort" that had gone in.

She said the improvement wasn't down to any single thing - and was reflective of a joint effort.

"If you look at the per cent jump it is the most of any district health board.

"We still have got to do a lot more to get things at a sustainable level... We want to carry on the good work."

She said it meant patients were getting appropriate treatment in an appropriate time frame.

Lakes District Health Board medicine services manager Jane Chittenden said the big leap in the result on the last few quarter followed a huge amount of work by staff in conjunction with the Midland Cancer Network Team.

She said a major benefit had been the introduction of a 62-day database which identified patients with a high suspicion of cancer and showed the amount of time a patient had been on the pathway. This was shared with key staff to make sure appointments and procedures happened in a timely manner.

The health board also improved in the shorter stays in emergency department - with 91 per cent of patients admitted, discharged or transferred from an emergency department within six hours.

Service manager Roger Lysaght said the emergency department team had been working on a number of initiatives to assist with the flow of acute patients including the introduction of a new clinical flow manager role.

He said the opening of the Medical Assessment and Planning Unit mid-way through the quarter had also helped.

Chief executive Ron Dunham said there was considerable effort behind the results.

He singled out the lift in the shorter stays in ED target, as improvement had taken a long time.

How Lakes DHB ranked:
Shorter stays in emergency department
Improved. Sits at 91 per cent compared to 95 per cent target.
Ranked 17 out of 20 health boards

Improved access to elective surgery
Improved. Sits at 106 per cent over 100 per cent target
Ranked 10th out of 20 health boards

Faster cancer treatment
Improved. Sits at 78 per cent compared to 85 per cent target
Ranked 8th out of 20 health boards

Increased immunisation
Dropped. Sits at 90 per cent compared to 95 per cent target
Ranked at 17th out of 20 health boards

Better help for smokers to quit
Same. Sits at the target of 90 per cent.
Ranked 1st out of 20 health boards

Raising healthy kids
New target. Sits at 62 per cent of 95 per cent target
Ranked 6th out of 20 health boards

- Rotorua Daily Post

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