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Health targets success repeated in Bay

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Repeated success has been a key feature 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 3% from achieving a fourth for the January-March 2017 quarter.

Last quarter the BOPDHB achieved its highest ever score against the Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments (EDs) target. It repeated this performance meaning 96% of patients across Tauranga and Whakatāne Hospital EDs were seen within the target waiting time of six hours. This was despite ever-increasing numbers attending the two EDs, said BOPDHB Chief Operating Officer Pete Chandler.

"This result is a reflection of all of our teams across both Tauranga and Whakatane hospitals working together to keep getting better," he said. "Whilst it is pleasing to hit the target this is not our goal, but rather it is to continuously seek ways of improving the way the healthcare system works from the patient perspective, giving them the best experience we can.

"The result is also a culmination of a lot of hard work which has been put in over the last three or four years."

There was also repeated success with both the Better Help for Smokers to Quit and the Improved Access to Elective Surgery targets.

"The Better Help for Smokers to Quit target has been achieved again, said Health Equity/Public Health Portfolio Manager Brian Pointon. "Over 90% of smoking patients enrolled in general practices have been given advice to become smokefree and offered access to a quit smoking service. This is the second quarter in a row the target has been achieved, and the BOPDHB is one of only three DHBs to meet this target.

"All three Primary Health Organisations in the BOP are in the top group of performers with Nga Mataapuna Oranga being No. 1 for the second quarter in a row. BOPDHB has also met the smokefree target in the hospital setting and for pregnant women."

The BOPDHB has now exceeded the Improved Access to Elective Surgery target in every quarter for more than three-and-half years.

"Improving access to elective surgery for our communities remains a high priority area," said Surgical Service Business Leader Bronwyn Anstis. "These results mean that 8316 patients have received treatment in the last nine months, which is 339 above the targetted level. This represents a positive result for the communities we serve and means more Bay of Plenty residents are getting the surgery they need."

Mrs Anstis added that while the BOPDHB had not yet reached the Faster Cancer Treatment target, recording a result of 82%, she expected this to be achieved within the next three months.

"This will mean 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."

Primary Health Portfolio Manager Andrea Baker said performance against the Childhood Immunisation target has remained steady at 86% and that a new service support model should help deliver improved results in the future.

"The BOPDHB has engaged a new service support model to wrap around childhood immunisation services which commences 1 July 2017. This will include enhancements such as better tracking our new-born children and better supporting GP practices and Lead Maternity Carers within urban and rural Bay of Plenty.

"Our PHOs are involved in this new service model with the DHB providing enhanced information support services. We plan to reach all babies and infants who missed their vaccines for no apparent reason therefore increasing our immunisation coverage."

The DHB has improved its performance for the Raising Healthy Kids Health Target achieving 55% in quarter three compared with 33% last quarter, said BOPDHB General Manager Planning and Funding Simon Everitt.

"We have improved the level of referrals as a result of children being seen for their Before School Check (B4SC). We also have a low rate of declines from families, meaning that children that may need help and assistance with their weight are being referred onto Health Professionals for assistance.

"We are confident our improvement trend will continue and that we will meet the target by December of this year. We are also exploring what types of intervention services work best for children and are looking into a variety of programmes such as obesity management programmes, whānau/family based programmes and active family services.

"We are also promoting the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits approach - eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, limiting screen time to 2 hours, getting 1 hour of exercise, and drinking 0 sugary drinks. This is a positive message promoting healthy lifestyle habits for our whanau/families and kids."

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