The Canterbury Health System is committed to the Government's newest health target 'Raising Healthy Kids', which has come into effect from Quarter 1 2016/2017.
The new target focuses on identifying and offering children with obesity a referral for a clinical assessment and healthy lifestyle intervention at the Before School Checks (B4SC).
David Meates, Canterbury DHB Chief Executive says earlier this year the five South Island district health boards (DHBs) agreed on a regional approach to address childhood obesity and plan how they would meet the new Ministry of Health target.
"A suite of referral options are now being made available to General Practice teams to refer at-risk children and their families, ensuring equal access to high quality resources for all South Island residents."
Mr Meates says an integrated approach is the most effective pathway to prevent and manage overweight children in the South Island.
"Amongst these, for selected cases, will be 'Triple P Lifestyle', a cost-effective, evidence-based parenting course that focuses on behavioural change, nutrition and physical activity advice for the whole family, as well as 'Active Families', via Sport Canterbury, which offers coaching and support to families to be more active.
"A popular resource that has been used across the health sector in Waikato since mid-2015 will also be available in the South Island. BeSmarter, which was developed as a parent/child friendly way to start conversations about health and goal-setting, is currently used by paediatricians, nurses, dieticians, dentists, GPs, practice nurses and B4SC staff."
However, because the roll out of these programmes is in the developmental stages, Mr Meates says performance against the health target is expected to increase significantly once things are fully up and running from early next year.
"We anticipate the percentage of referrals sent and acknowledged to increase in the next quarterly reporting round."
Children's health remains a strong focus in Canterbury with continued high performance in the immunisation target.
For the fifth quarter in a row, Canterbury has achieved the immunisation target, vaccinating 95 percent of eligible children in Quarter 1.
"We had strong coverage rates across all population groups. This is a significant achievement showing the results of ongoing commitment from immunisation teams across our system."
Canterbury DHB's performance in Quarter one showed it delivered 4,936 elective surgeries to our population, 98.9 percent of target delivery against the Improved Access to Elective Surgery.
"Theatre capacity constraint remains one of the DHB's biggest challenges in terms of delivering on elective targets. The DHB will deliver on its elective target of 20,982 elective surgeries for the 2016/2017 financial year."
Despite a number of initiatives to support flow in the Emergency Department (ED), Canterbury DHB did not reach the health target in Quarter 1, with 92.8 percent of patients admitted, and discharged from ED within 6 hours.
"Hospital flow proved a major barrier through the winter months – particularly due to the number of frail elderly admitted due to seasonal flu.
"We are reviewing performance and approaches to high demand with a focus on next winter as flow has now returned to usual with the arrival of spring."
For more information on Canterbury's performance in Quarter 1 of the 2016/2017 health targets can be found at www.cdhb.health.nz/What-We-Do/Pages/Health-Targets.aspx
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