Media release

Southern DHB 2016/17 Annual Report released

Southern DHB’s 2016/17 Annual Report highlights the progress made in the DHB systems and infrastructure needed to improve health care across the district, says CEO Chris Fleming.

During the year, HealthOne was launched, enabling critical patient information to be shared across providers to enhance safety.

Additional investments in telehealth and CT scanning at rural hospitals reflects an effort to provide care closer to home, and enable some patients to avoid unnecessary travel to Dunedin or Invercargill.

Progress was also made in the physical facilities, with an education centre opened at Southland Hospital, a new Audiology suite opened at Wakari Hospital, and work commencing on the upgrade of the ICU/HDU and gastroenterology facilities at Dunedin Hospital.

“While we continue to work in a constrained financial environment, our focus has been on making investments where they can make a difference to the system as a whole,” Fleming says.

This was especially important as the DHB sought to lift its performance against a range of health measures. “We have many areas to be proud of, from good progress implementing the faster cancer treatment and raising healthy kids targets, to the very high level of confidence we have that people receiving home and community support services are being well assessed and have appropriate care plans in place.

“However, we have also faced significant challenges in the past year, and we know there are areas where we need to improve, including ensuring access to elective surgery and reducing the length of time patients are waiting in our emergency departments. These will remain concentrated areas of focus for us.”

To do this, we need to take a whole of system view, and continue to build a strong culture within the DHB that promotes collaboration and innovation, he says. These priorities will underpin the primary and community action plan currently under development.

“I would like to thank all our 4500 staff, and all our partners in primary care, rural hospitals, iwi, education and NGOs and throughout the community for their contributions to delivering excellent care to our people.”

Further highlights from 2016/17 Annual Report

  • Continued high rates of immunisation, with Māori outperforming non-Māori across a range of measures (p38)
  • Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation (ATR) services continue to exceed targets for the length of time patients spend in hospital, and improvements to their physical functioning (p47)
  • Community Health Council established, to ensure patients’ voices are at centre of what we do (p58)
  • Southern Innovation Challenge projects – including a redesigned fracture clinic, and bringing the movies to MRI machines - make a difference to patients (p65)
  • Telehealth clinics offered in obstetrics, paediatric diabetes, geriatrics, neonatal intensive care, wound care, neurology, mental health, anaesthetics and more, enabling patients to avoid travelling for appointments (p72)
  • Financial position continues to improve, finishing 2016/17 year slightly ahead of budget (p76).

View the 2016/2017 Annual Report