Eight patients who died while waiting for heart surgery at Wellington Hospital experienced care and treatment delays which could have been avoided.
That is the key finding of a review into cardiac services at the embattled Capital & Coast District Health Board.
The report into services in Wellington follows the release of a separate report calling for a major boost to heart surgery rates nationally, which led to more funding by the Government.
This new independent report was called for this year following disclosures that patients in central New Zealand had died waiting for heart surgery in Wellington.
It found that out of those who died in 2006 and 2007 while waiting for surgery, eight people experienced delays that could have been avoided.
The report says the DHB experienced major delays for a range of reasons, but the waiting list has now been reduced substantially.