New Starship launched

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Some of the coun­try’s youngest can­cer pa­tients are set to ben­e­fit from a to­tal re­vamp of the Starship chil­dren’s hospi­tal on­col­ogy and hae­ma­tol­ogy ward.

The $6 mil­lion up­grade has seen the num­ber of beds in the ward in­crease from 14 to 18, with a sep­a­rate lounge for teens and in­di­vid­ual rooms for each pa­tient.

And the new fa­cil­i­ties have re­ceived a thumbs up from pa­tients that spent plenty of time in the old ward.

“It used to be very kid­dish. The paint­ing was dull,” says 15-yearold Paige Whit­ing.

“Now teens can hang out with no lit­tle kids around.”

Seven­teen-year-old Toby McCutcheon says the new fa­cil­ity has plenty more en­ter­tain­ment op­tions, like the Wii con­sole sport game.

“It’s not as bor­ing and helps take your mind off things,” he says.

Prime Min­is­ter John Key, who opened the new ward, paid trib­ute to the staff and sup­port­ers of Starship who helped with the up­grade.

“They put in so much time, en­ergy and ef­fort for chil­dren all across New Zealand.”

Starship clin­i­cal di­rec­tor of on­col­ogy Dr Lochie Teague says the new en­vi­ron­ment should help the over­all well-be­ing of pa­tients.

“As the child goes through treat­ment it’s vi­tal you do all that you can to make life as pos­i­tive as pos­si­ble.

“We had ado­les­cents and young adults shar­ing with ba­bies. Now we have the fa­cil­i­ties to cater for both.”

Starship nurs­ing man­ager Natalie James says in­di­vid­ual rooms will be of great ben­e­fit to chil­dren with low im­mu­nity.

“It min­imises the risk of in­fec­tion and cre­ates pri­vacy and a sense of con­trol for younger chil­dren.”

The project’s ma­jor bene­fac­tor is Tiger Woods’ caddy Steve Wil­liams and his wife Kirsty, who raised $1m.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

New sur­round­ings: Prime Min­is­ter John Key chats with Toby McCutcheon, left, and Mosi­mane Tuitupou in the ado­les­cent lounge in Starship chil­dren’s hospi­tal’s up­graded on­col­ogy and hae­ma­tol­ogy ward.

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