18 Sep 2013

UK report backs Canterbury health changes

11:00 am on 18 September 2013

A British report says major changes to the health system in Canterbury have reduced waiting times for patients, in some cases dramatically.

The report also says patients who don't need to be seen in hospital are now receiving care in the community.

The report has been done by British think-tank The King's Fund, an independent charity which is focussed on healthcare.

It has been studying health changes in Canterbury that began before the earthquakes but were accelerated to reduce the burden on damaged hospitals.

The changes have aimed to provide more care in the community, thereby freeing hospitals for more urgent and specialised work.

The King's Fund says patients who are admitted to hospital are treated more swiftly before being discharged safely to good community support.

The Canterbury District Health Board says internal funding changes have helped it redesign services to make them more sustainable.

The DHB has been working for years to provide more care in the community, rather than hospitals, to make the system more affordable long term.

The King's Fund says scrapping a system that funded hospitals per procedure they carried out has helped the process.