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Wairarapa DHB faces challenges


Media Release

Wairarapa DHB faces challenges

Wairarapa DHB has embarked on a wide-ranging group of projects to provide the basis for addressing health needs of the region over the next five to ten years while living within its financial means.

The 29 projects fall into four areas - development of a new Clinical Services Action Plan, workforce and service projects, initiatives to help staff do their jobs, and direct cost management plans.

“We, like all other DHBs, are facing new local and national challenges which we will begin to address through these projects,” said Wairarapa DHB chief executive Tracey Adamson. “We face increasing financial constraints; we are clinically vulnerable due to our size and recruitment issues, we have an ageing population; and new technologies create increased expectations.”

The DHB is currently forecasting a deficit of $2million this year and $900,000 next year. This assumes substantial efficiencies will be found. Ms Adamson said the cost of service delivery was outstripping the funding that the DHB receives.

“Our situation has given real urgency to address the issues. It is vital that decisions are made within the context of improving the health of our population, improving patient experiences and reducing and controlling costs,” said Ms Adamson.

“We are fortunate to be starting from a position of strength. Over the last three years we have become one of the best performing DHB’s on national non-financial indicators, our productivity has improved considerably, our services are based on partnerships with local providers and other DHBs, we enjoy strong community support and have excellent staff.”

“We are being challenged to do things better, sooner, faster and within an increasingly constrained budget. The answers to how we will make this happen will need to come from right across the organisation and from the wider health community,” said Ms Adamson.

The 29 projects are almost all underway with most due for completion by August this year and several by November. “Some of them were begun last year and earlier this year but we are now bringing this whole group of projects together under an umbrella programme we are calling ‘Going from Good to Great’. This is a particularly appropriate title, as Wairarapa DHB is an efficient, high performing DHB – as is our PHO. Unfortunately, this does not insulate us from the changes happening in the world around us,” said Ms Adamson.

Led by a steering group including 25 clinicians from across Wairarapa health services and independently chaired by Dr Robert Logan, the Clinical Services Action Plan will help shape services over the next 10 years. It will set out services and models of care that will be clinically sustainable and affordable and provide the greatest improvements in the health of Wairarapa people and in the experiences of patients. The group will gather information, discuss and explore ideas, and provide an expert clinical consensus on the challenges faced and actions needed to address them.

Other projects involve improving administrative support for front line clinical staff so they can spend more time with patients, streamlining outpatient and patient transport services, and benchmarking against similar organisations for DHB corporate services, the hospital pharmacy and the Maori Health Unit.

Ways to improving capacity planning for operating theatres and hospital beds are being investigated and a range of information technology options are being considered. Management structure reviews are included in the projects along with finding ways to help nurses maximise time caring for patients.

Projects that have the potential to immediately reduce costs include use of locums, improved use of supplies and improving the recording of existing ACC events to ensure the DHB is attracting the revenue due. Ms Adamson said DHB staff had already come up with more than 30 cost management ideas ranging from simple energy saving to waste reduction and better use of medical supplies with some already being acted on.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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