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Cantabs: immunisations, elective surgery, cancer treatment

November 27, 2012

More Cantabs receive immunisations, elective surgery and cancer treatments

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) continues to achieve and improve on the National Health Targets, despite the ongoing impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes.

More Cantabrians are receiving their immunisations, elective surgeries and cancer treatments, according to the targets’ Quarter 1 result.

David Meates, CDHB Chief Executive, says it is a reflection of the ongoing commitment and dedication to providing world class services both from primary and secondary care despite all the challenges of the ongoing disruptions the quakes have created.

“We are still years off from returning to ‘normal’ or any sort of environment we had pre-quake. The impacts of the quakes will linger for years as we work around juggling services and patients while there’s ongoing repairs and upgrades to facilities. This is all the while still ensuring patients remain the centre of everything we do and receive the exceptional care they deserve,” Mr Meates says.

“It’s also been a remarkable effort in terms of the work around ensuring timely access to services such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy and elective surgery.”

Mr Meates says other great work to keep Cantabrians well, included immunisation, especially for our most vulnerable population – babies and infants.

“Immunisation is the best protection we can provide to safeguard our future generation against deadly illnesses like pertussis, which is still a significant problem nationally – and has infected 54 babies in Canterbury alone since the epidemic began last August, with nearly half (26) of those infected requiring hospital care.”

Health target highlights- CDHB has achieved:
• The new Faster Cancer Treatment Health Target, with 100 percent of patients ready for radiation therapy or chemotherapy beginning treatment within 4 weeks of their specialist assessment.

• The new Immunisation Health Target, with 91 percent of eight-month-olds fully immunised in the quarter (the national target for this year is 85 percent). Canterbury also achieved the target for Māori (88 percent) and Pacific (94 percent) children.

• Achieved 106 percent of the year-to-date Electives Health Target, delivering 4464 elective surgical discharges.

CDHB continues to ensure Cantabrians are accessing the right health services in the right place at the right time, provided by the right person.

“An important role in CDHB’s ability to achieve this along with the Government’s health targets is having efficient, well-functioning primary care and community services linked in with hospital services,” Mr Meates says.

“Winter was particularly harsh in Canterbury with very high rates of influenza and limited hospital beds post quake, adding to pressures on the Emergency Department’s waiting times. This is evident in the results with our ED performance, which is down 1 percent but is still impressive and can be attributed to good management and planning from across the health system.”

The earthquakes also continue to plague smoking targets for both the hospitals and primary care.

“The results are well below what we would expect and it is an ongoing challenge. It’s going to take perseverance and commitment from everyone working across the Canterbury Health System to catch up. We need to be proactive and capture this information accurately.”

Health Target performance areas for improvement:
ED Health Target was affected by the hard winter flu season, with 94 percent of people admitted or discharged within 6 hours (the national target is 95 percent).

• The Hospitalised Smokers Health Target has been affected by documentation and coding issues, as well as hospital repairs and other earthquake-related disruptions, with 88 percent of hospitalised smokers recorded as having received help and advice to quit. The Hospital Smokefree Coordinators are systematically spending a few weeks in each ward/area to identify barriers and gaps and make suggestions about possible ways to address these and improve systems.

• Quarter 1’s performance against the Primary Care Smokers Health Target is at 27 percent of smokers. The ability to capture accurate data is key to the success of this target and the first step has been for all Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) to record the smoking status of more than 70 percent of their eligible population. Although, there has been a modest increase (2 percent) on the previous quarter’s result, significant work is required to reach the national target of 90 percent, with a number of factors – most notably the impact of the earthquakes on general practice and their enrolled populations – continuing to affect this target. We continue to talk with PHOs about their efforts to increase their provision of smoking cessation advice and support and to improve the capture and accuracy of related data over 2012/13.

• The Quarter 1 result for the Heart Checks Health Target is 25 percent. While this is a positive increase on the previous quarter (up 6 percent from 19 percent), Canterbury’s lower baseline figures result from the late inclusion of the DHB’s largest PHO in the cardiovascular (CVD) components of the PHO Performance Programme. This is because CVD Risk Assessment data for more than 75 percent of Canterbury’s enrolled population has only been recorded for the past 21 months compared to five years among other DHBs. Canterbury’s clinical leaders are promoting a systematic approach to CVD risk assessment and documentation, with a continued focus on targeting those most at risk first, and this proposed local solution to the target is being progressed with the Ministry of Health.

To view the results go to:



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