The Ministry of Health defines elective services as hospital services for people who do not need immediate medical treatment.
At present the estimated waiting time if you are accepted for elective services is up to four months. This is dependent upon the number of urgent referrals received and it may not be possible to meet these timeframes.
- Click here for printable version of “A guide to Elective Services” pamphlet
- Click here for 'Need to go to Hospital - Patient Transport' pamphlet
Urgent Health Care: If you are very ill and require emergency treatment you will be treated with minimal delay.
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board delivers services at both Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals. Utilising both hospital facilities assists the Bay of Plenty Health Board to provide equity of access and improved waiting times for patients requiring elective services.
We will contact you as soon as an appointment time is available for you to see a Specialist at either Tauranga or Whakatane Hospital.
What can I expect?
Clarity Timelines Fairness:
BOPDHB will provide information to the patient and the referrer within 10 days about whether or not they have been accepted for a First Specialist Assessment.
The level of need will be assessed in comparison with other people with similar conditions.
Once accepted for publicly funded hospital treatment, patients should receive it within four months of it being offered.
Public hospitals have a set amount of funding for elective treatments. Community demand for public hospital services is often greater than the ability of the hospital to meet that demand. Public hospitals need to treat those with the greatest need first, so that fair and consistent decisions are made within the resources available.
Specialist Care and Treatment
Making a first specialist appointment (FSA):
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board is committed to patient centered care.
Patients are sent a letter inviting them to contact the hospital to arrange an appointment at a time that is suitable for them. If no response is received from patient and we are unable to contact them they will be removed from the FSA waiting list and returned to the care of their health provider.
If patients need to confirm their appointment, change their appointment time or are unable to attend for any reason please ask them to email us or call us on the contact details below:-
Phone 0800 333 477 (The Regional Call Centre is available between 8.00am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these times there is an answer machine).
Patient contact details:
It is in the interests of each patient to inform the hospital of any change of postal address, residential address or telephone number. If we are unable to contact patients when their name comes forward for an appointment, their name will be removed from our records.
Processes and Standards:
Managing elective services is about providing efficient and effective services so that patient access is equitable, the resources available are used in the best possible way, and that patients attend their appointments on the date, and at the time they are scheduled.
1. Patient Focused Bookings:
When patients are due for their appointment a letter is sent to them inviting them to contact us to arrange a suitable appointment date and time within the available clinic space for that service. Appointments are confirmed at the time..
It is the DHB policy to contact all patients by phone/ email if the required appointment is within 10 days.
If no response is received from the patient a second letter is sent. If no response is received from the 2nd letter, and last known address details have been checked with their Health Care Provider, they will be removed from the waiting list and returned to the care of their health provider. The GP/ referrer is advised
A new referral will be required for any future assessments.
2. Did Not Arrive (DNA) and Did Not Wait (DNW):
If a patient is unable to attend their appointment they must contact the hospital to arrange another more suitable date. This also allows that appointment time to be offered to another patient and ensure the resources available are used in the best possible way.
If they do not advise the hospital that they are unable to attend, the visit will be recorded as “DNA – Did not attend”. Patients who DNA more than once will be removed from the waiting list and returned to the care of their GP/health care provider. Some specialists may discharge the patient and return their care to the GP/health care provider following one DNA. The patient will need to be re-referred for any future assessment.
Attempts to contact the patient will be made following a DNA to establish the reason for the DNA and to arrange another appointment at a more suitable time if the appointment is still required. When we are unable to contact the patient the GP/referrer will be advised and the patient will be removed from the waiting list and returned to the care of their GP or health provider.
DNA definition: a patient is categorised as a DNA if they do not attend the outpatient clinic or admission for elective procedure and there was no communication before the appointment. If there was communication this is deemed to be a reschedule or cancellation.
DNW definition: a patient is categorised as a DNW if they arrived for their outpatient clinic, but for some reason are unable to wait to see the specialist. Any resulting appointment is not deemed to be a rescheduled appointment.
Patient cancellations or reschedules can result in under-utilisation of specialist resources, as well as disrupt the flow of patients through the clinic/treatment pathway. The result is a major impact on both costs and quality.
Patient focused booking processes are in place to reduce the number of cancellations and reschedules of appointments. Patients who reschedule or cancel appointments more than once will be removed from the waiting list and returned to the care of the GP/ Health provider and will need to be referred to the DHB for any future assessment.
A patient is categorised as a reschedule/cancellation if they did not attend the outpatient clinic or admission for elective procedure and there was communication prior to the outpatient clinic or surgical procedure.
4. Deferred Standards:
Patients who for valid personal reasons are unable to accept the date/s offered for their First Specialist Assessment (FSA) or elective procedure can be deferred from the waiting list for a period of up to 3 months with their agreement. Patients will be returned to the FSA referral or treatment waiting list once they confirm their availability by contacting the Elective Services team. Waiting times will be recalculated from the date of their availability.
If no contact is made by the patient within the 3 month time frame the GP/referrer will be advised and they will not be returned to the waiting list. A new referral will be required for any future assessments.