WDHB surpasses latest expectations

The latest update on the Ministry of Health's quarterly targets shows the Whanganui District Health Board has exceeded expectations around access to elective surgery and increased immunisation rates.

The board met four of the six targets, failing in the number of heart and diabetes checks and providing help for smokers to quit.

Board chief executive Julie Patterson said that despite falling short of the target, she was pleased to see the number of checks rise two per cent from the previous quarter. "I know the primary health organisations and GP practices are working closely to lift this result to meet the 75 per cent target set for June 2013."

Mrs Patterson said she was disappointed with the board's target for helping smokers to quit - which, at 93 per cent, was two per cent under target.

The target was for 95 per cent of patients who smoked and were seen by a health practitioner in public hospitals, and 90 per cent of patients who smoke and were seen by a health practitioner in primary care, to be offered support to quit smoking.

On average, 95 per cent of health boards across the country met the target.

"Both our hospital and primary care need to work together to improve how we are supporting our patients to quit smoking," Mrs Patterson said. "We are determined to reach this target, and our staff are working very hard to get us there."

Meanwhile, Mrs Patterson said she was delighted with the region's score for shorter stays in emergency departments.

The ministry's target was for 95 per cent of patients to be discharged or transferred within six hours of admission.

The board scored 97 per cent, above the national average of 93 per cent. "It's good to know that in improving our performance against this target our community are getting more timely service."

For the improved access to elective surgery target, the board achieved 104 per cent - four per cent over target. Also, in reaching 90 per cent for increased immunisation, the board exceeded the target by five per cent.

The target was for 85 per cent of 8-month-olds to have their primary course of immunisation on time by July 2013, with the target increasing to 90 per cent by July 2014 and 95 per cent by December 2014. The national average was 89 per cent in the last quarter.

Introduced in the 2007 financial year, the targets are reviewed annually to align with government health priorities.

Nationally, four of the six health targets were met in the latest quarter (October to December): improved access to elective surgery, shorter waits for cancer treatment, increased immunisation and better help for smokers to quit.

Targets for shorter stays in emergency departments and more heart and diabetes checks were not met in the past quarter. APNZ


How Whanganui DHB performed:

Shorter stays in emergency departments: Target: 95 per cent. Whanganui DHB: 97 per cent. National average: 93 per cent.

Improved access to elective surgery: Target: 100 per cent. Whanganui DHB: 104 per cent. National average: 105 per cent.

Increased immunisation: Target: 85 per cent. Whanganui DHB: 90 per cent. National average: 89 per cent.

Shorter waits for cancer treatment: Target: 100 per cent. Whanganui DHB: 100 per cent. National average: 100 per cent.

Better help for smokers to quit:Target: 95 per cent. Whanganui DHB: 93 per cent. National average: 95 per cent.

More heart and diabetes checks: Target: 75 per cent. Whanganui DHB: 61 per cent. National average: 55 per cent.


- Wanganui Chronicle

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