Hospital bounces back from troubles

GETTING BETTER: Health Minister Tony Ryall visited North Shore Hospital's $48 million Lakeview development.
GETTING BETTER: Health Minister Tony Ryall visited North Shore Hospital's $48 million Lakeview development.

Staff at North Shore Hospital received a pat on the back from Health Minister Tony Ryall for cutting waiting times in their emergency department.

Mr Ryall was taken on a tour of the new emergency facility to offer personal congratulations to the Waitemata District Health Board.

On the back of disastrous results in 2009 that saw the Waitemata DHB perform poorest in the country, the latest results indicate they are now exceeding the national target. More than 95 per cent of emergency patients are admitted, discharged or transferred in six hours or less, despite a 31 per cent rise in patient numbers since 2009.

Waitemata DHB chief executive Dale Bramley says just 4 per cent exceeded the six-hour period due mainly to diagnosis and observation requirements.

In his first visit since before the elections Mr Ryall says the latest results will instill confidence in patients.

"It's really significant. Three years ago people were waiting in corridors for days under bright fluorescent lights so this shows they are lifting their game incredibly," Mr Ryall says.

A walk through of new facilities in the $48 million Lakeview development took Mr Ryall through the cardiology centre and to the state of the art radiology department.

The radiology department has become the first in Australasia with a specialised CT scanner able to generate 3D images of brains and hearts in a matter of seconds.

Dr Bramley says the scanner is an example of the board's commitment to providing state of the art facilities for their patients.

Mr Ryall says: "I believe they have put all those bad years behind them. Everybody there is doing their level best to provide a service they can be proud of and speaking to patients they are very happy with the treatment they are receiving."

Dr Bramley says the minister's visit is another validation of his staff's efforts to make Waitemata the best DHB in the country.

In the past three years the government has contributed $153 million in extra funding to Waitemata DHB.

Mr Ryall is confident they can continue to build on their achievements.

North Shore Times