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Health Minister congratulates Hutt Valley ED

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health


12 August 2013 Media Statement

Health Minister congratulates Hutt Valley ED

“Hutt Valley DHB is to be congratulated for its outstanding progress on faster better care for patients in emergency departments says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

“Hutt Valley ED has improved its performance to 97 per cent, exceeding the national target of patients admitted, discharged or transferred from EDs within six hours.

“Hutt Valley patients have some of the best ED care in the country,” Mr Ryall says.

Mr Ryall has congratulated all district health boards for the significant progress they’ve made over the past five years in the Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments (EDs) National Health Target.

“Nationally this quarter, 94 per cent of patients had their treatment completed at their ED within six hours – which is a huge improvement of 30 per cent compared to 2008,” Mr Ryall says.

“National ED champion Professor Mike Ardagh tells me ED patients are now getting better care more quickly, Mr Ryall says.

“He says this is a very clear trend in improvement for all DHBs – and that the old regular scenes of people waiting far too long in waiting rooms for treatment, or in EDs for a bed in the hospital are now rarely seen.

The Government’s six hour target is the result of advice from top ED clinicians who tell me it is the best measure to ensure faster and better services for patients.

They advise this is better than the previous Labour Government’s focus on triage times – which is how long a patient waits to be first seen by a doctor or a nurse.

“In fact Labour was so concerned about overcrowded EDs, long patients stays in EDs and long patient waits for treatment it commissioned a report that recommended replacing the triage system with the six hour full treatment target,” Mr Ryall says.

Up and down the country doctors and nurses tell me that faster ED treatment times save lives and improve service.

The former clinical director of Auckland Hospital ED, Dr Tim Parke, is reported as saying he believes this national health target has contributed to saving about 200 lives nationally

Increasingly Australian hospitals are adopting a very similar ED target to New Zealand. New Zealand is now seen as a leader in reducing ED wait times, and many countries, including Australia, Canada and Ireland, are learning from our successes.

ENDS

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