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Good performance by MidCentral DHB in most of the national health targets

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22/11/2016

Over the 1 July to 30 September 2016 quarter, MidCentral District Health Board exceeded its target for increased access to elective surgery, met the national target for increased immunisation, and improved our performance for faster cancer treatment.  MDHB Chief executive Kathryn Cook said: Our result for providing better help for primary health care patients who smoke to quit was sustained, although we are still not meeting target.  Our performance for shorter stays in the Emergency Department was again below the national target over this last quarter.
 
A new health target – raising healthy kids – is being published for the first time this quarter.  This national health target is a part of the wider childhood obesity plan that includes actions on healthy food policies, working with the food industry, schools and local government. It is not expected that on its own this health target will decrease the rates of childhood obesity. Rather, it aims to put kids and their families in touch with primary healthcare professionals who can check for any clinical risk associated with obesity, encourage families to take action and importantly monitor the child’s growth.  MidCentral’s result for this quarter is showing a strong start at 66 percent, compared to the national average of 49 percent.
 
Results for all 20 DHBs were released today.  A summary of our results for this quarter (July - September) across all the national health targets is provided below.
 
Between 1 July and 30 September 2016, 11,108 people attended the Emergency Department (ED) – 411 more attendances than over the April to June quarter, but fewer than the same period a year ago.  While 10,073 (91 percent) of the people attending ED were subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within six hours, we did not reach the national health target goal of 95 percent of all patients attending the department having shorter stays.  The three percentage point reduction in our result this quarter was influenced by the higher number of patients who were admitted to hospital, some of whom had more complex medical conditions, and an overall longer average length of stay across the hospital wards than usual.  The national average result this quarter decreased slightly to 93 percent.
 
Over this quarter, 2276 patients were discharged following their elective or arranged surgery – 59 more patients than over the previous three months and 245 more than we had originally planned.  There were more people who had skin lesions removed, eye procedures or ear, nose and throat surgery or neurosurgery performed this quarter.  This has put us well ahead of our target number of surgical discharges for this period (2031); 112 percent of target for the quarter and 29 percent of our annual target for increased access to elective surgery has been achieved so far.

We have made some improvements toward achieving the national target for faster cancer treatment.  While still not meeting target, over this last six month period 89 patients (77 percent) received their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer.  This was a six percentage point increase on the result for last quarter (71 percent).  The Regional Cancer Treatment Service continues to implement several projects looking at ongoing improvements in the referral and treatment pathway so that more eligible patients can receive faster cancer treatment. The national average for this latest period increased to 78 percent.
 
Our immunisation coverage rate was sustained at the national health target goal of 95 percent of eight month old infants being fully immunised on time.  Of the 557 eligible infants this quarter, 528 (95 percent) had had their full course of immunisations by the time they were eight months old.  The immunisation coverage rates for Māori and Pacific infants were close to target at 94 percent of the 260 infants who were eligible this quarter.  Work continues across our General Practice Teams, Outreach Immunisation Team and Newborn Enrolment Programme to ensure families and whanau have the right information and opportunities available to ensure their infants can be immunised on time.  The national average immunisation coverage rate increased slightly over this quarter to 93 percent.
 
Our result for offering brief advice and support to quit smoking for patients enrolled with the Central Primary Health Organisation for period ending September 2016 was sustained at 87 percent (19,275) of 22,237 people aged 15 to 74 years old who smoke.  This result was the same as the national average for this quarter.  We continue to work with our general practice teams and smoking cessation service to improve our performance.  We exceeded the national target for helping at least 90 percent of pregnant women registered with a Lead Maternity Carer and who identify as smokers to quit smoking (94 percent of 72 women this quarter). 
 
(Note the better help for smokers to quit hospital target result is no longer being reported as a national health target. Results will still be available on the Ministry’s website, along with the maternity target result, which is not published in the chart below.)
 
This is the first quarter that the raising healthy kids target has been publicly reported as a national health target.  The target is that by December 2017, 95 percent of obese children identified in the Before School Check (B4SC) programme will be offered a referral to a health professional for clinical assessment and family based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions.
 
For this quarter, of the 89 four year old children in our district who had a completed health check over the six months to the end of August 2016 and were identified as obese (a body mass index greater than the 98th percentile in the growth chart), 66 percent (n.59) had an acknowledged referral to a health professional, the child’s parent/caregiver declined the referral or the child was already under care.  The national result for this first quarter was 49 percent.
For more details and FAQs about the Health Targets go to: www.health.govt.nz/healthtargets and the 'MyDHB' website.

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