Canterbury achieves health targets in key areas

Tuesday May 28, 2013

The Canterbury Health system continues to perform despite the significant ongoing challenges and disruptions resulting from the earthquakes.
According to the third quarter national health targets released today, the Canterbury District Health Board has met or exceeded three of the six targets.
David Meates, CDHB chief executive says the results reflect the “remarkable efforts” of everyone involved in ensuring health services continue to be provided.
“This is often in very trying and difficult circumstances and in an environment where the health needs of our community continue to change,” Mr Meates says.
He says primary health teams have worked hard to ensure 93 percent of the region’s eight-month-old babies have been fully immunised, exceeding the national target of 85 percent. Canterbury also achieved the target for Māori (90 percent) and Pacific (90 percent) children.
The DHB also achieved 100 percent of the Ministry of Health national health target for Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment.
“This means that all patients waited less than four weeks for radiotherapy or chemotherapy during the third quarter,” Mr Meates says.
“CDHB also exceeded its Elective Surgery Health Target, achieving 107 percent or 12,641 elective surgical discharges in the year to date – meaning that we carried out 800 more much-needed operations than required to meet the target.
The delivery of elective services has been complex with theatre capacity being used in both the public and private sectors.”
Smokers remain a key focus of attention for Canterbury health professionals and, despite the ongoing challenges presented by post-earthquake stress, the CDHB has increased its performance in the Better Help for Smokers to Quit target by five percent on last quarter. This means 31 percent of patients who smoke have been seen in primary care and offered advice and support to quit smoking and have this recorded.
“In our hospitals, 90 percent of hospitalised smokers were offered advice and help to quit.  While the percentage offered advice hasn’t changed since Quarter Two, an increase in smoking prevalence amongst hospital patients has been observed, meaning the numbers of patients being offered support has increased.”
While interventions for smokers visiting primary care are still some way off the 90 percent national target, CDHB CEO David Meates says ongoing earthquake related stressors will remain a challenge for the health services for some time to come.
“We continue to work with Primary Health Organisations to increase provision of smoking cessation advice and support, and to improve the capture of related data,” he says.
“It’s important to note that more smokers are being offered advice and support to quit than ever before, both in Canterbury DHB hospitals and in general practices.”
The CDHB maintained its performance against the national Shorter Stays in the Emergency Department with 94 percent of people admitted or discharged within six hours, just below the national target of 95 percent.
Mr Meates says while strategies to care for people in the community remain highly successful, reduced capacity post-quake capacity, ongoing major earthquake repairs, the ongoing need to shift and re-locate services continue to challenge and stretch everyone. Over the coming months significant moves will occur as the acute medical service returns to Christchurch from The Princess Margaret Hospital.
“Overall results reflect the Canterbury Health System’s commitment to working together to provide the best patient experience possible,” he says.
How CDHB performed:
Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments
Target: 95%
Canterbury: 94%
Improved access to Elective Surgery
Target: 16,110
Canterbury: year to date 12,641 or 107% of target
Shorter waits for Cancer Treatment
Target: 100%
Canterbury: 100%
Increased Immunisation
Target: 85%
Canterbury: 93%
Better help for Smokers to Quit
Target: 90%
Canterbury: 31%
More Heart and Diabetes Checks
Target: 75%
Canterbury: 29% 
To read more on how Canterbury’s results compare go to HT_Q3_DHB-col-Canterbury.pdf
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Page last reviewed: 09 July 2013