Post-quakes pressures on Canterbury continue to shake the health system

Tuesday February 23, 2016

The latest national health target results show a Canterbury health system that is continuing to deliver for its population despite being under increasing pressure.

Canterbury DHB has continued to perform well against four of the Government's six targets during quarter two of 2015/16 with elective services at 98 percent of target (projected to hit target by the end of the financial year) and more Heart and Diabetes checks at 85 percent of target.

David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says the health system continues to be operating in a very fragile state and there's no sign of it easing anytime soon.

"While I'm incredibly proud of what we've achieved in the past five years – it's been nothing short of remarkable – five years on we are still operating in an environment that is a long way from being business as usual. This health system continues to strive to do the best for its community despite the very disrupted environment that we work within," he says.

Mr Meates says Canterbury's integration efforts with primary and community organisations remain key to ensuring it can deliver world class care to Cantabrians. 

"It is impressive Canterbury continues to achieve the Emergency Department (ED) health target with 95 percent of people admitted, discharged or transferred from ED within six hours, despite growing demand." 

Younger adults, particularly those non-enrolled aged 25-29 years, are driving demand with ED attendances increasing 46 percent for this age group since 2014.

"This reflects the rebuild population.  The DHB is not funded for the workers who have come in from overseas to help with the rebuild. We have an increased focus on capturing home addresses and ensuring this group is provided with appropriate information about where to seek primary care, rather than defaulting to ED."

Mr Meates says it is also encouraging to see the majority of Cantabrians are prioritising immunisation for their children.

Quarter two results show Canterbury exceeded the 95 percent immunisation target by vaccinating 96 percent of eligible children.

"Immunisation is one of the best ways to protect our vulnerable communities and the results are a credit to the efforts of our primary care teams."

Meanwhile there's also been increased efforts to deliver and improve on key targets Canterbury has not achieved in quarter two.

Canterbury delivered 98.5 percent (10,338) elective surgical discharges of the elective target in quarter two.

Mr Meates says a plan is in place to ensure we achieve our elective targets.

Other efforts remain on the faster cancer treatment target. In quarter two Canterbury improved five percent to 77 of patients receiving their first cancer treatment within 62 days of referral. The target is 85 percent.

"Work is ongoing to improve the capture and quality of our data, which should affect performance over the next two quarters. We continue to achieve the previous Faster Cancer Treatment target of 100 percent of patients ready to treat within four weeks."

Canterbury DHB also continues to work closely with the Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) to actively support the delivery of the primary care health targets.

Go to the Canterbury DHB website to find out more about our performance this quarter. ​

ENDS 

Page last reviewed: 23 February 2016
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