Patients wait too long in emergency dept
Patients at Palmerston North Hospital are still spending too long in the emergency department, the latest results show.
But questions remain about whether getting 95 per cent of patients dealt with, within six hours is a realistic target.
Results released yesterday show that for the three months to June, MidCentral reached targets in three areas, improved its performance in a fourth and slipped slightly in the other two.
There was a slight reduction in the percentage of patients spending less than six hours in Palmerston North Hospital's emergency department. Of the 9683 people who arrived in the three-month period, 90.2 per cent were in the department for less than six hours.
This was down from 91.6 per cent in the previous quarter and below the national target of 95 per cent.
The release of the results comes in the same week members of the district health board's hospital advisory committee questioned whether the target for emergency waiting times was realistic.
At a meeting on Tuesday, committee member Cynric Temple-Camp said there were patients for whom a wait of more than six hours was appropriate. Mr Temple-Camp said he had a family member who recently waited at least eight hours. But he said that was fine as they waited for the results of a scan to decide the next step.
Board chief executive Murray Georgel said having the target at 95 per cent rather than 100 per cent allowed for cases such as Mr Temple-Camp's example.
The other two targets the board failed to meet were help for smokers to quit, and heart and diabetes checks. In the three-month period, 91.1 per cent of smokers admitted to hospital were provided with advice about quitting smoking. This was down on the 92.7 per cent in the previous quarter and below the national target of 95 per cent.
Only 42.1 per cent of eligible adults enrolled with MidCentral primary health organisations had heart and diabetes checks in the past five years, up from 39.3 per cent in the last quarter, but below the target of 60 per cent.
The targets the board continued to meet were for cancer treatment waiting times, access to elective surgery and immunisation of 2-year-olds.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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