West Coast DHB releases its Annual Report

Press Release – Westcoast DHB

The West Coast District Health Board has released its Annual Report for 2010 -2011. The report can be uploaded from the DHB’s website here . 23 November 2011

West Coast DHB releases its Annual Report

The West Coast District Health Board has released its Annual Report for 2010 -2011. The report can be uploaded from the DHB’s website here.

West Coast DHB Chief Executive David Meates says, “Despite continuing challenges we are heartened by the progress that has been made in many key areas.”

The West Coast DHB continues to lead the country in figures for shorter stays in the emergency department while performance in providing improved access to elective surgery saw a significant number of extra procedures undertaken.

David Meates said the West Coast had successfully delivered on its priorities for elective services.

“We maintained our patient flow figures and delivered a record 1710 publicly-funded elective surgical operations in the key surgical specialities. This was significantly above plan and helped contribute to the overall delivery of increased surgical volumes for the South Island as a region.”

The key to achieving shorter stays in the Emergency Department was having a robust relationship between primary (GPs) and secondary (hospital) care “to make sure the right people go to the right place at the right time”. This target also measures the way in which the hospital system can process the subsequent patient admissions and discharges as well as the time taken for patients to be seen in the Emergency Department. There was still room for improvement and a better public understanding of the process, Mr Meates said.

DHB Chair Dr Paul McCormack said the DHB’s performance against key Government health targets was “very pleasing”.

Dr McCormack emphasised the increasing co-operation between the West Coast DHB and Canterbury DHB, identifying the appointment of the Canterbury DHB’s Chief Executive David Meates to the West Coast DHB’s CE role as enhancing the high level of collaboration between the two boards.

“Improved clinical networks between staff of both DHBs, the joint appointment of the Executive Director of Allied Health and changes in the Human Resources and Payroll departments are tangible examples of this increased level of cooperation.

“As a result, initial work has commenced on the provision of direct support from the specialist orthopaedic, paediatric, geriatric, and mental health services from Canterbury, and on shared professional development for clinical staff.

While recruiting permanent clinical staff continued to be a challenge “we have begun a new approach to help get the skilled people we need, and the long-term initiatives being undertaken are starting to bear fruit”.

Looking ahead, the DHB would be focusing on Government’s Better Sooner More Convenient policy through implementing new models of care to be delivered from Integrated Family Health Centres, starting in Westport.

“This will guide the provision of healthcare in Buller for the future and is also providing valuable learning for the future development of such a centre in Greymouth,” says Dr McCormack.

Significant events or milestones in the year included:

• DHB staff were involved in the emergency response following the Pike River Coal Mine disaster and the serious earthquakes in Christchurch in September and February.

• A new Board took office under new Chair Dr Paul McCormack and new Deputy Chair Peter Ballantyne.

• The Rural Academic General Practice, a training facility that enables graduate staff to specialise in applying their skills in a rural environment was opened at Grey Base Hospital by Prime Minister John Key (via teleconference) and Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn.

• A combined West Coast DHB and St John health centre / ambulance station was opened in Franz Josef.

• Throughout the year the DHB progressively instaled tele-health equipment at clinics in Fox Glacier, Hari Hari, Whataroa, Franz Josef and Haast, in addition to the facilities already available in Greymouth, Buller, Hokitika and Reefton. Tele-medicine supports the delivery of medical care and education by remote transmission of audio and video data in real or delayed time.

• West Coast breastfeeding figures for the year showed breastfeeding rates at six months are nearly twice the national target, thanks largely to a multi-pronged approach between the DHB, the West Coast Primary Health Organisation and community and public health services.

• The DHB achieved its financial goal for the year of operating within the $7,200,000 deficit budget agreed with the Minister of Health, with an actual deficit of $6,843,000.

ENDS

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