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Health leaders praise hardworking staff

Friday 31 August, 2018

Health leaders praise hardworking staff as five out of six national performance measures met

Five out of six health targets have been met by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) in the latest figures revealed by the Ministry of Health.

The Health Targets achieved are: Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments, Improved Access to Elective Surgery, Faster Cancer Treatment, Better Help for Smokers to Quit, and Raising Healthy Kids; with just Increased Immunisation not achieved.

“It’s a significant result,” said BOPDHB Chief Executive Helen Mason. “And I want to thank everyone for all their hard work in making this possible. It shows that as an organisation we’re moving in the right direction and the health impact for our population is significant.”

Health Targets are a set of national performance measures set by the Ministry of Health. They are due to be replaced in early 2019 as the Ministry develops a new set of performance measures focussed more broadly on population health outcomes. Once these new measures are announced and finalised, they will also be regularly reported on to the public. Mrs Mason said the BOPDHB was looking forward to reporting against the new measures.

In the meantime, reporting on the present Health Targets continues on a quarterly basis. In Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2017/18 the BOPDHB achieved four out of the six health targets in each quarter. In Q4 reporting, which covers the three months to the end of July, it achieved five out of six targets.

Raising Healthy Kids

The performance on one of these targets, Raising Healthy Kids (RHK), was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Ministry of Health. A result is deemed outstanding if it is “considerably better than the agreed DHB and/or sector expectations”.

The RHK target is that 95% of obese children identified in the B4 School Check programme will be offered a referral to a health professional for clinical assessment and family-based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions. The BOPDHB result for Q4 was 100%.

BOPDHB Child and Youth Portfolio Manager Tim Slow praised the nursing staff for the 100% completion of the B4 School Checks (a free health and development check for all 4-year-olds) for the year. He said the steady reduction in the numbers of parents declining to have their children referred onwards for a clinical assessment when identified as obese was due to “good engagement by the nurses who have used motivational interviewing techniques and the 5-2-1-0 messaging advice”.

The 5-2-1-0 advice for children is that they should:

• aim for 5 fruits and vegetables every day

• keep recreational screen time to 2 hours or less every day

• include at least 1 hour or more of active play every day

• consume zero sugar sweetened beverages (and drink more water every day).

Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments (ED)

BOPDHB ED Business Leader Neil McKelvie said the fact that the BOPDHB had been able to meet the Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments target, despite rising numbers of patients being seen, was testament to a lot of hard work both behind the scenes and by his front-of-house staff on a daily basis.

“We did a lot of work last year on streamlining the patient journey through ED and into the hospital, making that as efficient as possible wherever we could,” he said. “We’ve built on those initiatives throughout the year and have seen the results of that.”

Better Help for Smokers to Quit

Commenting on the achievement of the Better Help for Smokers to Quit target, Population Health Portfolio Manager Roimata Timutimu noted the work of both the BOPDHB smokefree coordinator and the maternity smoking cessation and safe-sleeping midwife.

“The smokefree coordinator has been integral in developing hospital processes and systems to support staff and their delivery of advice to smokers,” she said.

“The continued support of our maternity smoking cessation and safe-sleeping midwife is also highly valued. This midwife offers advice to pregnant māmā admitted to the maternity ward, refers māmā to our regional Stop Smoking Service, and provides safe sleeping advice and support – including linking māmā to the pēpi-pod programme; as well as offering support in the community via the Ūkaipō incentivised smoking cessation programme.”

Access to Elective Surgery and Faster Cancer Treatment

BOPDHB Surgery, Anaesthesia and Radiology Business Leader Bronwyn Anstis said the achievement of the Access to Elective Surgery and Faster Cancer Treatment targets represented more good news for Bay of Plenty residents.

“Increasing access to elective surgery treatment continues to be a high priority for the BOPDHB,” she said. “These results show that more elective and arranged (including non-surgical) procedures have been undertaken for our Bay of Plenty residents in 2017/18 than were planned. A total of 12,112 patients underwent procedures in the last 12 months, which is 1,175 more than the expected number for the year.”

Mrs Anstis said she was pleased with the improvements made for patients accessing cancer treatment that resulted in the Faster Cancer Treatment target being met for quarter 4.

“This means that 96.3% of our patients receive their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer and a need to be seen within two weeks,” she said.


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