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Helping Smokers to Quit, a Health Target First

Helping Smokers to Quit, a Health Target First

Waikato has hit the 95 per cent Better help for Smokers to Quit health target in its hospitals for the first time since the introduction of the target in July 2009.

Back then, only 39 per cent of patients who smoked and were seen by a public practitioner in one of Waikato DHB’s five hospitals were offered brief advice and support to quit smoking.

Last quarter it was 96 per cent. Asking for this information results in patients making their single biggest health lifestyle decision and is a simple contribution to their overall wellbeing, said director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward.

The ranking of DHB performance against the health target includes the hospital and primary care result. Waikato GPs and medical centres asked 61 per cent of their patients for their smoking status in quarter four – a big increase on the just under 30 per cent in the latter part of 2011.

Meanwhile another health target, which relies on primary care, is increased immunisation rates. Waikato is at 19th with 83 per cent. The immunisation target is a measure of rates for children who have had their primary course of immunisation by eight months of age.

Planning and Funding general manager Brett Paradine said progress had been slower than planned.

“But performance on this target is still gradually improving. Just 27 more immunisations would have seen us achieve the target. We want to do better than that though, so improving on this result is a priority for Waikato DHB and our primary health organisations (PHOs) for the year ahead.

“Two of our four PHOs have already achieved the target, one routinely exceeds it, and the other sees it as a top priority and is closing in on it.

“To reach the higher 90 per cent target for 2013-14 we’ll need to do about 110 more immunisations in the last quarter than we have in the last three months,” said Mr Paradine.

ENDS

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