Child Wellbeing & Whānau Support

Making tough times more bearable

Whānau-centred care in a world-class setting supports the journey to better health for our sick and injured children and their families. Together, we are helping make tough times more bearable.

Child Wellbeing & Whānau Support Hero

Whānau coming to Starship are experiencing some of life’s toughest challenges, needing care for their child from New Zealand’s paediatric experts. We want to make their journey as bearable as possible and with your support in 2019 we were able to ensure the environment at Starship is world-class and the care is wraparound.

When we asked for support to expand Starship’s Play Specialist Service last year the response was from you was overwhelming. As a result Starship’s Emergency Department now has Play Specialist support for seven days a week and in Radiology – where our children have scans and imaging done - Play Specialist support is demonstrating its incredible value.

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.

132 general anaesthetics avoided

Starship’s Outpatients and Day Stay Departments were both transformed in 2019 improving the experience not just for families, but also for the wonderful staff who provide their care and treatment.

The $3.8 million upgrade, made possible by Starship Five Star Partner Mercury and their customers, is designed to meet the needs of New Zealand’s growing population.

Patient capacity has increased, flow and care is more efficient and the bright, modern space is now more child and whānau-centric. An augmented reality experience now helps to calm and soothe children while they wait for appointments with one of Starship’s specialist teams.

Around 80,000 children visit Starship Outpatients Department each year

“Outpatients has been transformed into a world-class service that supports the journey to better health for our sick and injured children and their families, making tough times more bearable.” – Dr Mike Shepherd, Clinical Director - Starship Medical and Community.

In Starship’s Day Stay Department the transformation is equally impressive where fresh, bright new spaces welcome the families who are bringing their children for treatment, assessment or surgery.

This $1.4m project, completed in June 2019, was able to happen much sooner than might otherwise have been possible thanks to the generous support of donors like you.

The best environment for Hailey and other Starship children



Hailey was three when she was diagnosed with bronchiectasis faced years of hospital admissions for treatment and procedures. Every day she has medicine and chest physiotherapy, and her damaged lungs are prone to infection.

More recently Hailey and her family learned that another rare disease, called Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis, was also affecting her lungs and she has many days and nights in hospital under the care of Starship’s rheumatology and respiratory teams.

Hailey’s Mum, Jasmine says that Hailey is incredibly strong and positive. She says, “We are truly grateful for Starship and our care teams who are helping Hailey to live the best life possible.”

Now 8 years old, regular check-ups and monitoring are crucial for Hailey and she visits the Starship Outpatients Department four times each year.

She’s just one of thousands of children who come to our Outpatients where around 300 appointments happen every weekday. Now, thanks to the generosity of Five Star Partner Mercury and their customers, these families are welcomed into, and cared for in a wonderful, fresh new space after the transformational $3.8 million upgrade completed in 2019.

Patient care has been enhanced, clinics run more efficiently and technology is now used to help children stay calm and entertained with an interactive augmented reality experience featuring a wonderful virtual forest scene.

It all makes for a better experience for children and whānau facing tough times.



“This has been a hugely positive improvement for our staff and we are really, really proud of the environment that we work in. It’s brighter, fresher and a much better experience for our patients and families.” – Tessa Grant, Charge Nurse, Starship Outpatients Clinic

“We love it because it’s nice and light and really welcoming. Hailey’s favourite thing is the new interactive wall.” – Jasmine, Hailey’s Mum