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NHB eNewsletter – November 2010

"Better, sooner and more convenient care from a unified and sustainable public health system."

From the Chair

Welcome to the first issue of the National Health Board's electronic newsletter.

Real progress is being made by the health and disability sector on a number of fronts and I would like to highlight some of these successes.

This year District Health Boards (DHBs) are aiming to have 140,000 elective surgical discharges, up from 117,900 in 2007/08, 87% of DHBs are meeting the emergency department shorter stays wait times health target  and the number of doctors and nurses in public hospitals is increasing.


From the Director's Desk

This newsletter will become a regular part of the National Health Board's effort to engage with the sector about what it is doing and why.

We have launched our website www.nationalhealthboard.govt.nz and have a fledgling presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Over the coming months a great deal of the foundational work we have been involved in will begin to see results as we move towards the implementation of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Ammendment Act 2010 and focus on regional planning by DHBs, sector input into the Long Term Health Sector Plan and implementing new National Services.


The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2010

The Government has passed the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill to help meet the many challenges faced by the public health and disability system.

The Act provides the statutory framework for the National Health Board and DHBs to establish a more deliberate approach to deciding which services should be planned, funded and provided at the national, regional and local levels and put a much stronger emphasis on DHB collaboration to plan health services regionally.


The Move to Regional Planning

The National Health Board (NHB) is supporting District Health Boards (DHBs) to put in place regional plans. These plans will be at the heart of increased collaboration by DHBs.

These plans will outline where each DHB region aims to be in five to 10 years and will include current and future population characteristics, models of care, and the optimum configuration of services. Strategic planning will now occur at the regional, rather than district level.


Input Required on Planning Package 2011/12 Documents

The National Health Board is working with District Health Boards (DHBs) to get input and advice on the components of the Planning Package 2011/12, which includes the Annual Plan, Operational Policy Framework and Service Coverage Schedule.

Once comments are received, an External Reference Group and the National Health Board (NHB) will work to incorporate feedback into the draft Planning Package, with the Ministry of Health's Executive Leadership Team scheduled to consider the Planning Package on Monday 15 November.


Clinical ED Role all About Making it Better for Patients

The emergency department shorter stays target is an important indicator of the health of a hospital.

The National Health Board (NHB) monitors health targets and works with Ministry of Health target champions and District Health Boards (DHBs) on improving performance.

Professor Mike Ardagh says his role as the Ministry's Clinical Leader Emergency Department Services is all about improving acute care so emergency department patients have as little discomfort and inconvenience as possible.


National Health Board to Assist Service for Rare Skin Disorder

The Government recently announced it is to fund specialist nurses to support the treatment of the debilitating skin condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

The National Health Board (NHB) has arranged for three specialist EB nurses to be employed through Capital and Coast DHB and located at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. They will provide clinical advice when a new baby is born with EB, manage ongoing care and support local medical professionals.


Health Workforce Update

Health Workforce New Zealand has developed a number of new work programmes designed to improve recruitment and retention and ensure we have a sustainable health workforce to meet future needs.

Among new initiatives is the introduction of the Advanced Trainee Scheme (ATS) which provides medical registrars with a scholarship to cover the cost of a period of advanced study overseas. In return, the doctor will be bonded to work in the specialty in New Zealand on completion of their training. The first group of trainees has been selected and the scheme has already attracted widespread interest.


IT Health Board Update

The National Health IT Board's vision is to ensure that New Zealanders have a core set of personal health information available electronically to them and their treatment providers, regardless of the setting, by the end of 2014.

The publication of the National Health IT Plan provides much needed direction for the sector in the development of IT capability to support improved health outcomes and productivity enhancements across the sector. It is a plan that calls for District Health Boards (DHBs) to increase their IT expenditure from 2% to 4% – a big ask but improved efficiency and health outcomes are the long-term goals.


About this Newsletter

This newsletter is published by the National Health Board. To join or unsubscribe from the mailing list please email enquiries@nationalhealthboard.govt.nz


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