Regional | Health

Starship hires dedicated team to improve healthcare experiences for tamariki

Auckland Children’s Hospital, Starship, has launched a dedicated team to cater to Māori cultural needs.

Ringa Atawhai will have specialist staff that will cater to whānau Māori using the paediatric Intensive care unit.

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora Māori health Starship director Toni Shepherd says the programme is part of their child health strategy and will consist of five specialist roles.

“We have experts that are clinical, we have the nurse specialist position, we have the social work position, and we also have cultural support workers alongside that ,so whatever the whānau needs, we will be able to provide that as a team.”

Ringa Atawhai translates as the nurturing hand of support.

Shepherd says Ringa Atawhai will help to transform patient experiences for tamariki, mokopuna, and their whānau,while raising the capacity and capability of Māori clinicians within child health, including pediatric intensive care (PICU) at Starship.

“In the first month, the team will work closely with key individuals to develop a leading mokopuna-centric, whānau-focused, whānau-led model of care that will go live in the PICU on Thursday 28th March,” says Shepherd.

Ringa Atawhai will be reviewed next year and the continuation of the initiative will depend on its success.