Faster treatment for cancer at TDH

27 February 2015

More people are getting access to elective surgery and more people are getting faster treatment for cancer as Tairāwhiti District Health (TDH) comes close to achieving national Health Targets.

The latest quarterly results show TDH is well on the way to meeting all Health Targets set by the Ministry of Health.

It is very pleasing to see an improvement in the number of eight month olds who have had their immunisation at six weeks, nine months, five months and are now fully immunised, says Chief Executive Jim Green. “Reaching this target is a partnership between TDH staff and those working in primary care including GP practices.”

“We have also made a great start to achieving the new cancer target. Already 74% of people in Tairāwhiti who are referred with a high suspicion of cancer are getting treatment within 62 days from the time they are first referred. Our team is refining their processes to make sure our patients get the treatment that they require in what is often stressful circumstances for them. The team is committed to working together to ensure we meet the target of 85 percent of our people getting that fast treatment by July 2016”

This is the first time of reporting the faster cancer treatment target results. The new target is broader than the previous shorter waits for cancer treatment target. It measures how long patients wait from the time their GP’s referral is accepted by the hospital and clinicians strongly suspect they have cancer, to the start of treatment – which could be surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or even palliative care.

The percentage refers to the number of patients who receive their first cancer treatment (other than management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer.

The intent is to measure right across the cancer diagnosis and treatment pathway.

TDH’s results (compared to the national target) for the quarter are:

• Shorter stays in emergency departments 96% (95%)

• Improved access to elective surgery 99% (100%)

• Faster cancer treatment 74% (85% by June 2016)

• Increased immunisation 93% (95%)

• Better help for smokers to quit – hospitals 94% (95%); primary care 87% (90%)

• More heart and diabetes checks 88% (90%)