Children’s Emergency Department

What is a Children’s Emergency Department?

The Starship Children’s Emergency Department is the only dedicated Emergency Department in New Zealand designed to focus exclusively on the needs of children.

We specialise in meeting the needs of acutely ill or injured children and young people. The children and young people seen within the Department, range from birth to their fifteenth birthday from the Auckland region. Some young people over fifteen who are under a specialist paediatric service and also have an acute illness are cared for within the Department. 

Children are assessed when they arrive in the Department and the most seriously unwell and injured are seen first. 

The Department sees approximately 40,000 children and young people per year.

The Department works within a multidisciplinary framework that includes Maori support workers, Pacific Island support workers, play specialists, social workers and clerical staff who work closely with the nursing and medical teams.

Your child may receive medical care from a clinician either a Doctor or a Nurse Practitioner.


Medical - there is at least one registrar (trainee specialist) and one house officer in the Department at all times. There is a specialist in the Department from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week, and on-call outside these hours.

Nurse Practitioners - there are Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Specialists in the Department. Nurse Practitioners have undergone advanced training to enable them to manage the care of children presenting with a wide variety of conditions including those with complex medical needs.

Nursing – there are at least five staff nurses on duty at all times, with greater numbers during busy periods.

Clerical - there is 24 hour clerical support.

Support -  Kai Atawhai (Maori support workers) and Pacific Island support workers, social workers, play specialists, interpreters are available.


The Children's Emergency Department is actively involved in training and research. Research is conducted in order to improve the medical care of children and young people. We will always discuss with you about any research activity your child could be involved in. Your child’s care will not be affected in any way if you prefer not to be involved in this activity.


  • Dr Sarah Jamison Paediatric Emergency Specialist
  • Dr Mike Shepherd Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Stuart Dalziel Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Susie Cunningham Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Anthony Bell Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Karen Quay Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Damayanthi Rasanathan Service Clinical Director, Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Jonathan McMillan Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Christine Brabyn Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Khang Gan Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Emily Perelini Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Dr Kylie Salt Paediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist

Referral Expectations

On arrival at the Children's Emergency Department you/your child will be assessed by a triage nurse so we can estimate how urgently you/your child needs to be seen.

As a Hospital Emergency Department we see the most severely ill and injured children first. This means that children are not necessarily seen in order of arrival. We try to see patients as quickly as possible but there is usually at least a two hour wait to see a clinican.

Children who are waiting will be monitored by nursing staff.

After the initial assessment and treatment, patients may be admitted to the hospital, transferred to another hospital or discharged.

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