Whanganui District Health Board has had mostly positive results in the latest quarterly health target report.

The DHB met four of the six targets, and made a big improvement on another target.

Health targets are a series of six indicators that the Ministry of Health requires all district health boards to meet. The latest results were for January to March.

On the target of 95 per cent of patients being admitted, discharged, or transferred from an emergency department within six hours, Whanganui reached 96 per cent.


It also achieved 95 per cent for providing information and assistance to help people stop smoking.

Whanganui achieved a whopping 113 per cent in the increased elective surgery target. It also surpassed its target of 90 per cent more heart and diabetes checks, at 92 per cent.

There was also a significant improvement for the Whanganui District Health Board in the target of faster cancer treatment. This target calls for DHBs to ensure 85 per cent of patients receive their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer.

At 80 per cent, Whanganui fell short.

However, WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson said the organisation had improved greatly over the past few quarters.

"I see our 80 per cent result as positive, given that we've been climbing steadily for the past three quarters, from 44 per cent in quarter one, followed by 60 per cent in quarter two, and now 80 per cent in quarter three," Mrs Patterson said.

"I know our staff are working very hard to reach this target."

Mrs Patterson admitted she was "frustrated" by the DHB's inability to reach the sixth target of increased immunisation. The national immunisation target is for 95 per cent of 8-month-olds to have had their primary course of immunisation at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months.

Whanganui's figure for this quarter was 92 per cent.

"Despite the best efforts of Whanganui's immunisation team, a small number of families are still choosing not to immunise their children. With a population the size of Whanganui's, small numbers of decliners have a significant impact on the district's immunisation results."