Surgery target beaten

IAN ALLEN
Last updated 16:07 17/08/2012

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All hospital patients in Marlborough and Nelson are having their elective surgeries or first specialist assessments within six months, says Wairau Hospital service manager Becky Olsen.

This was a "remarkable improvement" on the 234 patients waiting more than six months for an operation at the end of June last year, Ms Olsen said.

The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board had carried out 6209 operations from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, which was 180 more than their target of 6029 for the year, she said.

The extra surgeries had not been budgeted for though, Ms Olsen said.

The board had also provided 13,468 first specialist assessments to determine whether people needed an operation and this was 2682 above its annual target.

“Our elective teams did a terrific job to surpass our elective target, while at the same time ensuring no-one was waiting longer than six months for their planned procedure or their specialist assessment," Ms Olsen said.

“The commitment by all teams to these goals was remarkable."

The board had again budgeted for 6029 elective procedures during the next year.

New initiatives led by the operating theatre teams in Marlborough and Nelson were making progress in terms of streamlining theatre processes, Ms Olsen said.

This had benefited both communities in terms of access to elective services, she said.

Acute or urgent surgery presentations were on the increase and this was expected to continue during the next year, she said.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said district health boards were continuously focusing on improving frontline services.

In the past year, patients across the country waiting longer than six months for elective surgery or a first specialist assessment had been reduced by 85 per cent from 5700 to 840, he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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