Strong results in smoking and electives health targets

Tuesday November 26, 2013

​Canterbury District Health Board's focus on providing more complex surgeries and help to smokers has seen a strong result in the first quarter of the 2013-2014 national health targets.

Despite facing ongoing capacity challenges as a result of the earthquakes, the Canterbury achieved 102 percent of the year-to-date electives health target, delivering 4,388 elective surgeries. 
David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says ensuring those with the greatest need receive their operation is a key priority for Canterbury DHB.

"In the last financial year the Canterbury DHB delivered almost 40,000 elective and acute operations at its Burwood and Christchurch Hospital campuses.

"Canterbury DHB is the largest public health provider of elective surgeries to our DHB population, and the second highest provider of elective surgery in New Zealand.

"We are also the main tertiary centre in the South Island, providing $100m of services for other DHBs, which are by and large mostly complex cases that can't be cared for elsewhere, in particular for patients who have co-morbidities."

Mr Meates says demand for orthopaedic elective surgery is something the New Zealand health system has been grappling with for a number of years – much of which is driven by our ageing population.

"Our role is to ensure those in the greatest clinical need and with the greatest ability to benefit, receive surgery. We have to prioritise patients based on the individual's circumstances to ensure a fair and equitable service."

Strategies to care for people in the community remain successful, he says.

"Ongoing commitment from all involved in a person's journey will ensure the Canterbury Health System continues to provide the right care in the right place at the right time by the right person."

Other successes this quarter include Canterbury DHB achieving the hospitalised smokers health target for the first time, with 95 percent of hospitalised smokers receiving help and advice to quit.

"Because of the ongoing stresses people still face three years on from the quakes, particularly around dealing with insurance issues and other housing concerns, some people may have relapsed and started smoking again. So it's really encouraging to see the efforts to support people quit when they are in our care is making gains."

In Quarter 1, Canterbury has:

  • Achieved the immunisation health target, with 93 percent of eight-month-olds fully immunised (the new national target is 90 percent). Canterbury also achieved the target for Pacific (91 percent) children, but did not reach the target for Māori (85 percent).  A working group is reviewing why Māori whānau are declining immunisation and why Māori children are overdue at milestone age to address this issue.

  • Achieved 102 percent of the year-to-date electives health target, delivering 4,388 elective surgeries.

  • Dipped just below the ED health target, with 94.4 percent of people admitted or discharged within six hours.  The quarter was a difficult one, with the highest number of ED attendances ever recorded and a number of post quake impacts. However, it is also encouraging to see that while there were some short periods below the target in late July and early August, performance recovered in the second half of the quarter despite ongoing volume pressure.

  • Reached hospitalised smokers health target for the first time, with 95 percent of hospitalised smokers having received help and advice to quit.

  • Missed the faster cancer treatment health target by just one patient, with 99.7 percent of patients ready for radiotherapy or chemotherapy beginning treatment within 4 weeks. 

  • Increased performance against the primary care smokers health target to 37 percent of smokers expected to attend primary care receiving help and advice to quit.  The use of IT to support data capture and monitoring has been a key focus for Quarter 1. 

  • Increased performance against the heart checks health target to 36 percent.  The late inclusion of our largest Primary Health Organisation (PHO) in the cardiovascular components of the PPP has resulted in lower baseline figures, as cardiovascular risk assessment (CVRA) data for over 75 percent of our population has only been recorded for the past three years – compared with five years in other DHBs. A Canterbury-wide plan to increase coverage in both the primary care smoking cessation and CVRA health targets has been developed; it covers a range of initiatives, including increased visibility and clinical engagement, education, IT tools, retrospective coding, additional resourcing suited to specific practices' needs, alternative delivery mechanisms (e.g. in workplace settings) and the use of 'text to remind'.   Together, it is expected that these will lift results in future quarters.

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Page last reviewed: 14 February 2014