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Mixed results continue for MidCentral DHB in national health targets

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Over the 1 January to 31 March 2017 quarter, MidCentral District Health Board exceeded its target for improved access to elective surgery, showed an improvement in offering help for smokers to quit in primary care and sustained its performance for the

“raising healthy kids” health target.

MDHB Chief Executive Kathryn Cook said: “While we are pleased that we have been able to ensure that more people in our district are getting their planned surgery, we are committed to continuing our work on improving our performance in the other priority areas, such as our acute and urgent care services across the district and faster cancer treatment pathways.  We are anticipating that our infant immunisation coverage rate will return to target level after the drop in our result this quarter, which is not uncommon at this time of year.”   

Results for all 20 DHBs were released today.  A summary of our results for this quarter (January to March) across all the national health targets is provided below.

Over the January to March quarter, there were 10,425 total attendances at Palmerston North Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED).  Of these, 9,516 (91%) were admitted, transferred or discharged within six hours.  This was below the expected national target of 95 percent having shorter stays in Emergency Departments.  On average, 1027 (29.6%) of the attendances each month resulted in an admission to an inpatient ward over this quarter – proportionately more than over the previous quarter (29%), and, more people were transferred to other acute hospitals from ED than previously reflecting the higher health care needs of those who attended the ED over this quarter.  We also noted that more people waited to be seen by the ED rather than leave beforehand (on average 137 people each month left the department before being seen compared to 166 per month over the previous six months).
The national average result for shorter stays this quarter was retained at 94 percent.

Over the nine months to end of March, 6,124 residents of MidCentral’s district have been discharged from hospital following their elective surgery – 298 more than the 5,826 originally planned and exceeding the 100 percent target by just over 5 percent for this period. 
The national average result increased to 104 percent this quarter.


For the six month period to end of March, 62 (75%) of the 83 eligible patients with a high suspicion of cancer received their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days – remaining below the target (85%).  However, we identified a data processing issue that contributed to lower numbers of eligible patients being reported than should otherwise have been the case this quarter.  This has been corrected, and we expect our results to improve from next quarter.
The national average was 82 percent.
The proportion of eligible eight month old infants that was fully immunised by their milestone age reduced to 93 percent this quarter.  Of the 546 eligible infants between January and March 2017, 510 had had their full primary course of immunisation on time. While a small number of parents or caregivers decline at least one of the three vaccinations for their infant, thirteen children missed their immunisation or were completed later than their milestone date.  The Immunisation team is looking at missed opportunities and ways of better working to meet the needs of families to support these vulnerable children being immunised on time.  
The national average this quarter was 92 percent.
The proportion of patients enrolled with Central Primary Health Organisation (CPHO) who have been offered help to quit smoking over the last 15 months increased this quarter to 87 percent (n.19,387) of 22,186 current smokers. Although an improvement on the previous quarter, the result is still below target (90%) but slightly better than the national average, which was 86 percent for this period.  Central PHO continues to work closely with General Practice Teams, Community Pharmacies, Midwives, Te Ohu Auahi Mutanga (a smoking cessation service) and others to ensure the appropriate advice and range of opportunities that support people to quit smoking are being offered and followed up.
(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.)
MidCentral continues to work toward achieving this new health target by December 2017. Over this latest six month period ending February 2017, 89 percent (n.78) of the 88 children identified as obese at their a Before School health check were offered a referral to a health professional for clinical assessment and family based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions.   While there were slightly fewer children who had a health check completed over the holiday period, the proportion of those referred was sustained and we noted an increase to 94 percent of 34 Māori children.
The national result for this quarter was 86 percent.

For more details and FAQs about the Health Targets go to: and the 'MyDHB' website. The health target results for all DHBs are shown in the following chart.

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945



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