Date: 8 November 2012
Auditors Tick Off
Auditors say Waikato District Health Board’s management controls, financial information and service performance are “good” for the second year running.
In issuing its unqualified audit report to the Board, Audit New Zealand acknowledged that a number of concerns it raised with Waikato DHB last year had shown improvements and seven out of 18 concerns cleared completely.
Waikato DHB’s annual report is published today on its website www.waikatodhb.health.nz/annualreport. Audit NZ uses the ESCO grading system which analyses environment, systems and controls for measuring financial and service performance.
A “good” across all three main categories is pleasing, said board chair Graeme Milne but maintaining that will be much harder this year mainly due to application of increasing audit requirements for the Statement of Service Performance.
The financial statements for Waikato DHB show a surplus of $9.4 million, slightly below the $11.5 million budget, on revenue of $1.145 billion.
Mr Milne said this was the result of a decision by management to spend extra money on reducing its elective surgery waiting list to within the six-month national target.
Waikato DHB achieved 106.9 per cent of planned volumes – 13,579 discharges – slightly above the national average of 105.9 per cent. It is 4927 more than five years ago and 5250 more than 10 years ago.
In the past year Waikato DHB got $500,000 for three clinician-led programmes to speed up elective services for patients and reduce the number of cancelled operations. Nurses take responsibility for many patient assessments before surgery and manage the admission and discharge plans.
“This frees up the surgeons’ time, reduces delays, increases productivity and significantly reduces day-of-surgery cancellations,” said Mr Milne.
“Our plan to achieve a surplus is part of a continuously refined long term financial plan to ensure that available funding is judiciously applied to both today’s and tomorrow’s needs.”
Health funding was unlikely to increase at the rates of past years so Waikato DHB wants to seek efficiencies and increase productivity, he said.
“Services across the sectors must be more integrated, delivered as early as possible and in community and home settings rather than in hospitals.”
Waikato DHB is now over halfway through a $500 million redevelopment of its buildings and equipments designed to cater to the future health needs of the district and in many instances to the region.
“Every dollar of our past years’ surpluses and more is required to enable the organisation to fund the inevitable interest and depreciation charges that we will face as these projects are completed and come on stream.”
Busy year at Waikato DHB
It was another busy year at Waikato DHB with 99,596 emergency department presentations across all five hospitals, 77,783 inpatient discharges, 207,319 outpatient attendances and 26,270 surgical operations.
Kitchens produced 794,499 patient meals and 50,699 meals on wheels.
Laboratories analysed a staggering 7.91 million blood tests and tested 625,269 specimens.
Waikato DHB welcomed 3980 babies into the world, 3509 at Waikato Hospital and district nurses made 138,599 community visits, allied health professionals 22,138 and mental health 156,554.
In a record year for breast screening, 34,975 tests were completed, there were 7251 chemotherapy and 25,908 radiotherapy attendances and 102,877 radiology examinations.
“Our team has had an outstanding year given all the challenges they’ve faced. Senior management, clinicians, nurses, allied health staff and support teams have all combined with GPs, pharmacists, social workers, mental health workers, all those in aged care facilities, accountants, engineers and lawyers and many others working in and for the public health and disability system,” said Mr Milne.
The publication of the second annual quality report showed Waikato DHB was a healthcare organisation that puts patients first, said chief operating officer Jan Adams.
“We intend to grow our reputation for excellence and innovation,” she said.
The annual report details Waikato DHB’s quality improvement journey for the year.
The six priority areas worked on were:
• Patient mortality
• Hospital at night
• Pressure areas
• Care essentials
• Productive series.
One of the six health targets which challenged Waikato DHB was the shorter stays in emergency department.
Mrs Adams said the total increase between 2010/11 and 2011/12 of all patients attending Waikato Hospital emergency department was 10 per cent (2010/11 - 59,752 attendances versus 2011/12 - 65,574 attendances).
“Within this increase though was an 18 per cent increase in these patients who were seen treated and discharged by the emergency department within three hours, a huge improvement across this group of patients.
“We have made pleasing progress on all six health targets,” she said.
“To do this under the strains of increasing health demand and other service increases is a credit to all involved in health.”
Two other annual reports are also published today by
• Healthshare, the Midland DHBs shared services agency www.midlanddhbs.health.nz
• Waikato Health Trust www.waikatodhb.health.nz/wht
About Waikato District Health Board and Health
Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 372,865 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6000 people.
Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of more than $701 million and 5238 staff. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.
A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.