Supporting safer treatment
We aim to reduce injuries in New Zealand that are related to treatment from registered health providers. To do this, we’re working with the health sector and leading and supporting prevention programmes.
On this page
New Zealand treatment injury information
Lodging treatment injury claims
Currently, around 37% of treatment injury claims are declined for various reasons. To help with claim lodgement we have a guide that covers everything you need to know about lodging a claim, and the resources available to help you do it.
We also have a flowchart that can help you decide whether or not to lodge a treatment injury claim.
If you'd like to order hard copies of the guide or the flowchart in poster format, email us.
You can also download a treatment injury claim form (ACC2152).
Preventing treatment injuries
We've committed a $45 million investment to treatment safety programmes between 2017 and 2022.
We’re working with the health sector to prevent a wide variety of treatment injuries. These include:
- healthcare associated infections
- medication safety
- pressure injuries
- neonatal encephalopathy
- surgical harm.
These all have preventable aspects, and result in high claim volumes and cost to us.
Our prevention programmes
Neonatal Encephalopathy (NE) prevention
NE is a major cause of brain injury in new-born babies. Injury numbers are small, but these injuries can have a major and long-lasting impact on children and their families.
We support the NE Taskforce that brings together expert representatives including:
- health care providers
- professional bodies
- government agencies
- patient advocacy groups.
We’re working with the taskforce to implement a significant programme of work focused on four priority areas:
- growth assessment protocol
- fetal heart monitoring
- newborn observation chart and newborn early warning system
- cord lactate testing.
Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) prevention
HAIs are one of the most frequent forms of patient harm and the most common treatment injury claim. We’re targeting a reduction in the incidence and severity of HAIs via a national programme of best practice approaches.
We’re working alongside the health sector in public and private hospitals and in general practice settings on these prevention initiatives as well as supporting the rollout of ICNet, an infection detection and surveillance platform.
Pressure Injury prevention
Thousands of people suffer a pressure injury each year even though they’re mostly preventable. This impacts the health system and reduces quality of life for those affected.
We have a major programme of work underway, focused on reducing the incidence and severity of pressure injuries that occur, and improving management and treatment. We’re working with the health sector to do this by:
- implementing the Guiding Principles for Pressure Injury Prevention and Management in DHBs around the country
- looking at prevention and treatment of pressure injuries for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and developing a consensus statement
- reviewing pressure injury education for the regulated and unregulated health workforce
- investigating opportunities within ACC to improve pressure injury prevention.
Fetal Anticonvulsant Syndrome (FACS)
We're working with experts from across the sector to inform people who could become pregnant, their families and their health providers about the effects of taking anti-seizure or mood stabilising medicines during pregnancy. This includes:
- what they're used for – epilepsy, mental health conditions, and pain management
- the risk of harm – physical malformations and cognitive impairments
- what to do if they're pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Watch the video below to find out more about FACS.
Download or order resources
You can download these resources or order free copies via our ordering system
For health providers:
For people who could get pregnant, their family and whānau:
Learning from serious adverse events
Our insights show that sometimes when things go wrong in a hospital environment, suitable adverse event reviews are not completed, recommendations are not implemented, and lessons learned are not shared.
We’re working with five healthcare facilities on an approach that will improve the capacity and capability of the health sector to conduct and act upon adverse event reviews. This includes clinical human factors expertise.
Matt Gunter’s story
In 2012, 15-year-old Matthew Gunter underwent surgery for a simple appendectomy. Unfortunately, his post-operative experience was not as expected, and Matt passed away. His death was preventable.
We’ve partnered with Matt’s mum, district nurse Heather Gunter, to bring Matt’s story to hospitals throughout New Zealand.
Surgical Safety and perioperative harm
There has been a very significant rise in the number and cost of surgery-related (perioperative) treatment injury claims over the last 10 years. These injuries cause significant harm to people affected.
To help address this we’ve partnered with The University of Auckland School of Medicine to deliver the Networkz programme - a surgical simulation-based team training programme - to surgical teams around the country.
State-of-the-art surgical simulation suites are being installed in all DHBs to support multidisciplinary teams to train together in a realistic environment.
Find out more in the video below.
Get in touch if you have questions or would like more information about our programmes.