New Zealand District Health Board Mental Health Service Profile

B. Welsh (New Zealand Ministry of Health, Christchurch, New Zealand)
J. Kokaua (New Zealand Ministry of Health, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Publication date: 1 December 2005



This paper seeks to describe the New Zealand Ministry of Health District Health Board (DHB) Mental Health Service Profile, which for the first time compares performance on a number of quality indicators for the populations of 21 DHBs.


The background, theory and development of the Ministry of Health Mental Health Directorate DHB Mental Health Service Profile (Profile) is discussed and example pages from the Profile are included


The DHB Profile overcomes the problem of setting arbitrary benchmarks by using the range of current practice across the sector. The profile demonstrates that certain levels of performance can be achieved and, given a better understanding of the long‐term client group, is potentially a very powerful tool for encouraging improved service delivery. Improved data quality is also likely to be a spin‐off from the use of the Profile in the sector.


Having key DHB mental health quality information in one place and being able to compare individual DHB performance with minimum, medium and maximum values for all DHBs are a significant step to improving information use and understanding DHB service and quality issues.



Welsh, B. and Kokaua, J. (2005), "New Zealand District Health Board Mental Health Service Profile", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 508-514.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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