Elective efforts congratulated

Wednesday May 18, 2011

Two devastating earthquakes have not stopped the Canterbury District Health Board from staying focused on delivering a full range of health services to its community including electives.

Canterbury DHB is predicting an overall shortfall of 740 elective cases – down five per cent on the annual target of 15,477 cases for the financial year.

Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates says for the year to May the Canterbury DHB is behind about 637 cases.

“To be less than five percent below target is a remarkable effort given the extraordinary circumstances of coping with a major natural disaster,” Mr Meates says.

“Staff across the health sector have worked together to provide care to the people of Canterbury in what has been very trying circumstances, often putting their own personal circumstances aside to continue to deliver a world class service.”

The Canterbury DHB is also aiming to outsource 500 elective procedures before the end of the financial year.

At the end of January the Canterbury DHB was ahead of its target for elective services but the February 22 quake has impacted on our ability to provide the usual volumes of elective services, he says.

There are a number of reasons for this: damage to two floors in Riverside block at Christchurch Hospital has meant fewer beds have been available and more operating theatres were allocated to allow for an increase in acute (emergency) surgeries for earthquake related injuries 

There is also limited theatre capacity because hospital dental services were moved from Tuam St after the building was closed because of earthquake damage.

Three 25 bed wards have temporarily been opened at The Princess Margaret Hospital to general medicine patients to help cope with the loss of the 104 beds at Christchurch Hospital.

The Canterbury DHB is implementing its detailed recovery plan, which incorporates about 200 projects. A major focus of the plan is around working closely with General Practice teams, CERA and other health organisations to help keep people well and healthy in their own homes.

Re-scheduling the thousands of outpatient and elective appointments that were postponed as a result of the quake is returning to normal but there has been an increase in the number of people not attending outpatient appointments.

“If you have moved or relocated because of the earthquake and are waiting for an elective procedure or outpatient appointment, please contact the hospital and inform them of your current contact details.”

Hospital staff have also been telephoning people before sending letters confirming an outpatient or elective appointment.

Fact and figures about the February 22 quake:

  • There were 130 orthopaedic operations for earthquake injuries at Christchurch Hospital in the week following the February earthquake:
    31 had a broken hip
    12 had a spinal fracture
    12 had a fractured pelvis
    12 had fractured thigh or shin bones
    Nine crush injuries, of whom three were double leg amputees, and two lost one leg
    20 arm or shoulder fractures
    12 ankle fractures.

  • After the quake about 8 percent of outpatient appointments were cancelled.

  • DNAs (Did Not Attends) for outpatient appointments have increased from an average of about 4 percent before the quake to around 6.5 percent.​​

Page last reviewed: 14 February 2014