Canterbury DHB Health Target Results Stunning – Chief
Amid the impact of Canterbury’s September 4 earthquake on health staff and services, the Canterbury District Health Board (Canterbury DHB) has once again performed exceptionally against the national health targets.
The Health Targets are national health performance measures, set by the Ministry of Health (MoH), which are designed to improve the performance of our health services and provide a focus for action for DHBs. Results of the first quarter of the July 2010 – June 2011 financial year were published in major New Zealand newspapers today (26, November, 2010).
Canterbury DHB Chief Executive David Meates says the effort that has gone into achieving Canterbury’s results is stunning.
“One of the most remarkable outcomes is Canterbury delivered 100 per cent of its planned elective operations, despite the fact we had to postpone 400 operations and more than 1000 outpatient appointments after the earthquake,” Mr Meates says.
“Continuing to provide the same volume of services has been very difficult over the last few months with staff needing time to deal with the loss/or damage to their homes. The ongoing stress and difficulties that arose from the huge number of aftershocks also took its toll. I am so incredibly proud of everyone working across the Canterbury health system who have obviously given so much to maintaining services for our community.”
Increased immunisation for two-year-olds was one of the significant achievements in Canterbury DHB’s results. The results sit at 92 per cent, surpassing the national target by two per cent.
“When you consider that the parents of another five per cent of children had been contacted and declined immunisation or opted off the scheme, it is an impressive score. The remaining three per cent are yet to be reached but work is continuing on bringing them on to the immunisation schedule,” Mr Meates says.
High volumes of patients during the winter meant the overall score for wait times at Christchurch and Ashburton Hospitals’ Emergency Departments (ED) was three per cent below the target of 95 per cent. However, the target for waiting under six hours was met for the entire month of September.
“We are continuing to make steady improvement on this target for our Emergency Departments. The result is up five per cent on the first quarter of last year, despite the number of ED attendances growing significantly.”
While Canterbury DHB is shown to have missed the Shorter waits for Cancer Therapy Radiotherapy target by three per cent, the 100 per cent target has been achieved and maintained since August The DHB is working to deliver these services to meet the four week waiting time target that is required by the end of December, Mr Meates says.
“Once again this is a
remarkable effort, given the constant adjustments to
equipment that were required after the aftershocks and the
fact that staff were also working around the installation of
two new linear accelerators.”
The Canterbury DHB is steadily improving in the Better Help for Smokers to Quit target. The percentage of hospitalised smokers that are being provided with advice and help to quit reached 74 per cent compared to 57 per cent in the previous quarter.
Work is also being done to improve performance on the Better Diabetes and Cardiovascular Services Target, with efforts underway in General Practice to increase the number of people receiving their annual diabetes check.
“This is an area that will continue to receive attention until we are sure that people are taking part in the checks and their attendance is properly recorded,” Mr Meates says.