Canterbury DHB performs well in health targets despite quake

Thursday May 26, 2011

The just-released 2010-2011 Quarter Three Performance Summary shows that the Canterbury health system has exceeded in several of the National Health Targets.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) chief executive David Meates says the result is a brilliant, sustained effort by a dedicated team of people from across the health system and has been achieved despite the disruption caused by the September 4 and February 22 earthquakes.

“Many staff have had a lot to contend with in their own lives, as well as putting in extra effort at work, they have worked tirelessly to ensure services are still provided,” Mr Meates says.

The Canterbury DHB delivered 10,977 elective surgical discharges in the nine months to the end of March, equating to 96.2 percent of its planned target for the year (15,478).

“We have done very well considering the challenges faced by the Canterbury health system: more than 7500 rooms in Canterbury DHB buildings were damaged after the September 4 quake and 106 inpatient beds were lost immediately after the February 22 quake, along with problems with hospital services such as steam, water and other infrastructure issues. Despite all this, elective services were back up and running within days.”

“Delivery is being monitored daily to ensure we deliver elective surgery to our population as best as possible in the current quake-constrained environment. We are in close contact with the Ministry of Health electives team to keep them informed of our progress.”

Also, in the third quarter of 2010-2011 year, 100 percent of Canterbury patients began radiation treatment within six weeks of their first specialist assessments and 96 percent within four weeks.

It’s a remarkable achievement that two days after the February 22nd quake, the radiation oncology service restarted and was back up to full capacity by 1 March.

Since the beginning of February only four patients’ wait times have been outside the target – three were delayed due to the quake, and one due to a breakdown of the linear accelerator.

Steady progress has been made in achieving the shorter stays in the Emergency Department health target of 95 percent of patients admitted, discharged or transferred from ED within six hours. 

“Canterbury’s strong ED performance is attributed to taking a whole of system approach to the target, which has steadily improved since quarter one from 92 percent, to 94 percent in quarter two and now to 95 percent.”

“Despite many general practices being down in the weeks following the earthquake and many who still have fragile infrastructure, Canterbury has achieved the target for increased immunisations with 91 percent of two-year-olds being fully immunised.

“Systematic work with good planning meant we were ahead of schedule in the third quarter. However, it is likely the February 22 quake will adversely impact Canterbury’s future performance particularly fourth quarter results because a greater number of children are likely to be missed or immunised late because their families are not being able to be contacted because they have moved house since the earthquake.”

“During Quarter Three, we knew that 97% of all Canterbury under two year olds were ‘reached’ by Canterbury’s immunisation services – 4.2% declined immunisation and 1.2 percent chose to opt off the immunisation register. 

“There are certainly areas where we can and will do better – we have a comprehensive recovery plan that provides us with a road map outlining new and innovative ways of delivering services in the future. 

“Given the circumstances, those working in the Canterbury health system are to be congratulated for their dedication and commitment to ensuring access to health services during a prolonged state of emergency,” David Meates said.​

Page last reviewed: 14 February 2014