The Whanganui District Health Board has reduced waiting times for young people trying to access its mental health services.

All DHBs are required to hit a nationwide target where at least 80 per cent of people referred for mental health services are then seen within a three week period.

At the start of 2015 the DHB was ranked the worst in the country with just 23 per cent of young people seen within the three week timeframe in the 2013/2014 reporting cycle.

Since then the DHB said it had become the best performing DHB in the country for three-week wait times.

The clinical nurse manager at the Whanganui DHB, Janice Bowers, said they began seeing most referrals and their families first before deciding which service would serve that person best.

The DHB said that streamlining meant appointments for a time within the three-week period were usually sent the same day a referral was accepted.

“Most months our team exceed the three-week target and over the past nine months we’ve only missed the target by 1 per cent for one month in those nine,” Bowers said.

“It’s very much a team offer getting to this point – a team effort that’s working well.”

Source: NZ Herald

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