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Two firsts in Bay of Plenty health target success

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Improving performance and two firsts are the story of this quarter’s health target results in the Bay of Plenty.

Of the Ministry of Health’s six quarterly targets the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) has exceeded three and was just 1% off achieving a fourth for the October-December 2016 quarter. The same quarter in 2015 saw just one target achieved.

The success included two firsts - with record results in both the Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments result and the Better Help for Smokers to Quit target.

Over 96% of patients across Tauranga and Whakatāne Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) were seen within the target waiting time of six hours during the quarter. The result was achieved despite ever-increasing numbers attending the two EDs said BOPDHB Chief Executive Helen Mason.

"This is our best ever result and is testament to great co-operation and co-ordination across our two hospitals, to meet the needs of our acute care patients. This result has been achieved during a time when there were often more than 200 people presenting daily at our two EDs," said Helen.

Over 26,000 Bay of Plenty smokers have been given help to quit during the past 15 months as the Better Help for Smokers to Quit target was met for the first time said Health Equity/Public Health Portfolio Manager Brian Pointon.

"The DHB congratulates our three PHOs - Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBOPPHO), Ngā Mataapuna Oranga (NMO) and the Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance (EBPHA) - and their general practices for achieving the target and recognises the additional efforts they have put in over recent months," said Brian.

"The target is that 90% of Primary Health Organisation (PHO) enrolled patients who smoke are offered help to quit in the preceding 15 months. Many will have accepted that offer and are now living a smokefree life."

The results see the BOPDHB once again exceeding the Improved Access to Elective Surgery target.

"2779 patients received treatment during the three-month period, which is 147 above the target level," said Surgical Service Business Leader Bronwyn Anstis. "This represents a positive result for the community we serve and remains a high focus area. It means more Bay of Plenty residents are getting the surgery they need."

The BOPDHB has now exceeded the target every quarter for the last three-and-half years

Continued improvement against the Faster Cancer Treatment target (up 2% from 82% to 84%) was also seen. The BOPDHB now ranks eighth nationally and is just 1% below target.

"This steady improvement represents more members of our community being able to receive their first cancer treatment faster," said Bronwyn.

The target is that 85% of 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.

This quarter was the second time that the Raising Healthy Kids health target results have been published. The target is that by December 2017, 95% of obese children identified in the B4 School Check (B4SC) programme will be offered a referral to a health professional for clinical assessment and family based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions. The BOPDHB recorded a result of 33% for the six months to December 2016.

"Whilst we started from a low baseline, our performance has improved significantly and continues to do so," said BOPDHB General Manager Planning and Funding Simon Everitt. "As the target is calculated on a rolling six-month average, there is a time lag effect of that improved performance being shown in the figures. For the most recent three months, the rate achieved was 80%.

"We are confident that we will achieve the target by December 2017 which is when it is due."

The way in which immunisation services are delivered is being reviewed to improve immunisation cover for eligible babies and children, and help achieve the Increased Immunisation target said Primary Health Portfolio Manager Andrea Baker.

"Our eight-month immunisation coverage was 87% for quarter two, up 1% from quarter one. We are in the process of strengthening our childhood immunisation services to improve childhood immunisation coverage and timeliness for all immunisation milestones from six weeks to five years. We are committed to improve our performance to meet these objectives."

The target is that 95% of eight-months-olds will have their primary course of immunisation (six weeks, three months and five months immunisation events) on time.

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