New Starship launched
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.
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.