Additional Play Specialist support proving valuable

When we asked for support to expand Starship’s Play Specialist Service last year the response was overwhelming and we’re delighted to keep you updated about just how much of a difference your kind donations have made already.

Starship’s Emergency Department has Play Specialist support for seven days a week now, because children and whānau need treatment and procedures around the clock.

And in Radiology – where our children have scans and imaging done - Play Specialist support is demonstrating its incredible value.

Children like Neve (pictured below), who needed an MRI at Starship to help the team treat her hip dysplasia, are much more likely to manage the scan without having a general anaesthetic thanks to the support of the additional Play Specialist.

Neve Aho

Starship Play Specialist Rachel Pienaar helps Neve prepare for an MRI scan by showing her what to expect.

In a 14 month period 132 of the 136 children referred to the dedicated radiology play specialist Shannon Ioane, managed their scan while awake. Previously, these children would have had a general anaesthetic. That’s a 96% success rate.

“But the most significant savings are for the patient and their family,” explains Nicky Woollaston, Team Leader, Hospital Play Services at Starship. “They avoid the risks linked to the anaesthetic, there’s no need to go without food before their procedure, less time in hospital and they leave feeling really positive about their hospital experience.”

Neve’s Mum Meg’s words say it all.

“We are so incredibly proud of Neve having an MRI without sedation. It was a tense 45 minutes requiring no movement from her but she showed us just how tough she is. I cannot express how grateful I am to the amazing play specialists for their help in preparing her to get her to this stage. I am so grateful for our wonderful children’s hospital and for the people who work in it tirelessly for our kids to make these experiences all okay when they are scared and nervous.”


Neve Aho proudly displays her certifi cate of bravery after having an MRI

Thank you for helping children like Neve.