Tuesday 22nd August 2017

BOPDHB takes proactive actions to provide better care for its residents - from the very young to the aged

Please attribute these comments to the CE Helen Mason.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board is constantly looking at ways that we can improve the services and care we provide to our patients and community, from the very young to the aged.

These Health Target results are for the fourth quarter of 2016/2017 (April to June 2017).

Shorter stays in Emergency Departments

We are pleased to have met this target. In this fourth quarter, 15,259 patients were seen within the Shorter Stays in Emergency Department target at the BOPDHB's Tauranga and Whakatāne Hospitals. This compares to 14,636 for the same quarter in the previous year.

To achieve this health target while accommodating large increases in patient numbers is the result of hard work and innovation by staff.

We have been continuously seeking ways of improving the way our healthcare system works from our patients' perspective. This result is the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last three years, in particular quicker patient assessments and ensuring patients are in the right place at the right time.

Better help for smokers to quit

We are pleased to have met this target. Providing encouragement for all smokers to quit is an important way to improve the health of individuals and their families. This encouragement is undertaken at all opportunities in a number of health care areas, so if a smoker is ready to make that quit attempt, they can receive all the support they need to become smokefree for the rest of their lives.

In the Bay of Plenty, the targets have been achieved in primary care, during hospital stays, and almost achieved for pregnant smoking women. About 26,000 smoking patients in contact with their GP or practice nurse, received advice to quit in the past year, and almost a quarter were then given active support to engage with a stop smoking service.

In addition about 7,000 hospital patients are given brief advice to quit each year, and offered follow up to smoking cessation, with a further 500 pregnant women also being encouraged to quit for their baby's health by their midwives.

Any smoker wishing to follow up on this advice to quit can contact the Hapainga Stop Smoking Service on 0800 427246.

Access to elective surgery

We are pleased to have met this target. These results show that 11,315 Bay of Plenty residents received surgery treatment in the last 12 months, which is 703 more patients than the expected number for the year.

This result shows an improved access to elective surgery treatment for our residents. Increasing access to elective surgery treatment continues to be a high priority for the BOPDHB.

Faster Cancer Treatment target

Since July this year, changes have been made to improve the support for patients making decisions. We have adjusted specific processes to reduce delays (in particular where patients are being referred for treatment from the tertiary hospitals like Waikato and Auckland) resulting in an improved situation for BOPDHB residents accessing their first cancer treatment closer to home.

With these changes the BOPDHB is now on track for August 2017, to enable at least 89% of patients to receive their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer.

Raising healthy kids

We are pleased that performance on this target has improved from 55% to 75% over the last quarter. The parents of about 40 children each quarter are being offered the opportunity of a referral for clinical assessment, and then going onto a physical activity, nutrition and family lifestyle programme to better manage the child's weight.

The BOPDHB continues to improve its performance against the Raising Healthy Kids target and expects to meet the target by the end of the year. The target is that by 31 December 2017, 95% of children assessed at their four year old Before School Check as having significant weight problems, are referred to their general practice. The GP or practice nurse will then carry out a clinical assessment and the parents are given advice on weight management for the child and family.

For the three months up to 30 June, 75% of children meeting this criterion were referred, a pleasing improvement on the 55% achievement for the previous three months.

We are also promoting the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits approach - by encouraging eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, limiting screen time to 2 hours, getting 1 hour of exercise, and drinking 0 sugary drinks. This is a positive message promoting healthy lifestyle habits for our whānau/families and kids.

Increased Immunisation

We remain concerned about the low immunisation rates of young children in the Bay of Plenty. While the DHB has not met the Childhood Immunisation target for this quarter, a new support service to target children who are being missed for their 8 month immunisation has been set-up to reach them. The DHB anticipates this action will lift its Childhood Immunisation rates.

In the Bay of Plenty there were 731 eligible infants for their eight month immunisation of which the majority (608) were fully immunised. Of the 123 missed infants, 74 had parents who declined immunisation and 49 were missed by their PHO.

Of the 326 eligible Maori infants, 259 were fully immunised at eight months.

The new support service the BOPDHB has established, called The Collective, will focus on reaching the missed children in the first instance, and working with parents to support them to understand the lifelong benefits of having their child immunised.

The Collective is a team of staff working for the Eastern Bay of Plenty Primary Health Alliance, Nga Mataapuna Oranga and the BOPDHB. Itl includes immunisation coordinators, vaccinators and a coordinator to track all BOP infants to better reach those infants missed for immunisation.


For further information please contact:

Diana Marriott
Communications Manager
Phone:  07 579 8029 or 021 227 0452

Last updated: August 22, 2017