Starship inpatient care

An Admission

When Starship Cystic Fibrosis patients are admitted they are managed by the Respiratory Team Consultants. There are six Respiratory consultants who each have a turn of being the Ward Respiratory Consultant and are responsible for all the children under the Respiratory team – this is being “On Service”. If your child is in for a 2 week admission you would most likely see 2 different consultants. Each Cystic Fibrosis patient has a lead CF consultant who reviews the children at the CF Clinic and manages their ongoing plan of treatment. The “On Service” consultant will discuss with the child’s lead CF consultant about any changes or preferences that may come up during an admission.


The main ward for children with Cystic Fibrosis is Ward 26B on the 6th floor. Sometimes Ward 26B is full and your child will be on another ward. The Respiratory / CF Team of doctors will be managing your child’s care and will do daily rounds. The consultants will see you and your child twice a week and the registrar and house officer will be around every day. Jan Tate, the CF Nurse Specialist will see you and your child each day. If you have any queries or problems talk to Jan who will help.


Each ward has a Nurse Manager who is in charge of the ward.  If you have any questions or comments about your child’s time in hospital please ask to speak to the Nurse Manager about your concerns.  Some nurses work an 8 hour shift and some a 12 hour shifts: 7am -7pm and 7pm – 7am.  You may have the same nurse for a few days but this does not always happen.

Parents staying overnight

Starship has some facilities for parents wanting to stay overnight with their child. Only one parent for each child is permitted to stay. All other visitors are expected to leave the ward by 8pm, this allows children to get adequate rest while they are unwell.

On Ward 26B all rooms are single rooms.  Many rooms have an ensuite, others have shared facilities.

Lunch and dinner aren’t provided for parents; however, a simple breakfast of cereal and toast is available. Tea, coffee, milk, cereal and bread are available for parents use in the parent room or patient kitchen. For any special food brought in from home please make sure it is labelled with your child’s name and placed in the fridge in the kitchen – the nurses will tell you which fridge this is because it is different on each ward. Ask the nurses on each ward where these facilities are because it is different in each ward.


A parent car parking ticket is available from the ward clerk.  This car park ticket entitles you to park in a special area on the hospital site, but the car park spaces are limited – less than 15 spaces are allocated for Starship and are on a “first come first served basis”.  Please ensure the ticket may be clearly seen by the security personnel when parking in the parent car spaces.

Wilson Car Park: Alternatively there is a pass that allows you to purchase a $10 per day ticket for the Wilson Car park.  The pass may be obtained from the ward and is only for use at the hospital Wilson Car Park.  You need to get a new pass each day to allow you to purchase the $10 Wilson Car park ticket each day.

Teen Lounge

Open 3 – 5.30pm Monday-Friday, 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Ages 12-17.

Level 5, Room 5, just outside Ward 25A.

If you ask any teenager, they will usually say that being in hospital is really boring!!! At Starship there is a team of play specialists who are there to help children and young people cope with being in hospital. Sometimes this means explaining medical procedures in child or teenage language, and sometimes this means finding young people things to do to keep their minds off being in hospital.

The Teen Lounge is a place in the hospital where teenagers (over 12 years) can go to hang out, listen to music, play computer games or do whatever they want to do. The lounge has a stereo, internet access, a Playstation, and cupboards full of games and activities to keep teens occupied. The lounge usually opens in the afternoon at 3:00pm and is run by the adolescent play specialist. It is located on level five of Starship.

The play specialist is really into getting teenagers to produce art work to put up around the hospital and usually has some crazy project for teenagers to work on. If you look around the wards you might notice some large, colourful banners. These have been painted by young people in hospital and are heaps of fun to create – you don’t even have to be that artistic to have a go!!

So if you’re bored, want to get away from the babies or oldies or just want something to do – check out the Teen Lounge when you come to hospital. Just ask the nurse or you can contact the Adolescent Specialist on locator 93 5114. Be aware of other teens with CF who may be making use of the Teen Lounge and wear a mask.

Ronald McDonald Family Room

Located on Level 3 at Starship, the Ronald McDonald Family Room is a place for families to relax and have time-out, while still being close to their child in hospital. It’s designed to give parents, caregivers and immediate family respite from the ward, especially when their child is admitted for a substantial hospital stay.

The Family Room is open from 8am to 7pm, every day. It is permanently staffed and provides:

– A quiet relaxing lounge, with restful views of the Domain and the harbour.
– Tea, coffee, and light refreshments.
– Magazines and a library.
– Telephones – for internal hospital and local calls.
– Internet access for PC laptops.

Only children accompanied by an adult can access the Family Room, and must be supervised by a caregiver while there.

Please do not bring your own food into the Family Room, as this can create hygiene issues.

To use the services, ask for a referral card from the ward charge nurse, or identify yourself to the Family Room manager as a CF parent.

The Family Room is located at the eastern end of Level 3, past the gym and hospital school.  Please go to Ronald McDonald site to see more of what they have to offer.


Most children who are admitted for an IV treatment require a PICC line (a peripheral inserted central catheter) to have their antibiotics through. Most of the children will be admitted to the Day Stay Unit on Level 2 and will go to theatre from here. After the line has been placed the children will go to a ward. Sometimes the acute theatre list is full on the day and you will need to come back the following day OR your child can start the IV course with a short peripheral line and have the PICC put in the next day.

You may be cared for in Day Stay if your child requires an elective procedure such as a bronchoscopy, ENT procedures (eg adenoids, tonsils or grommets ) or some other one day only treatment.

The DSU generally closes around 7pm each week day so if your child needs to stay longer they will be admitted to a ward overnight.

Hospital Play and Hospital Grandparents

Each ward has a play room and Play Specialist. The Play Specialist is helpful in providing a distraction for your child when undergoing some procedures and in helping a child and their parent prepare or learn about a specific procedure or treatment. Be aware that there may be other children with CF on the ward who will be using the Play Room – there should be only one child in there at any one time –ask the Play Specialist and let them know that your child has CF.

The grandparent scheme is available at Starship. Ask the nurses to book a grandparent in for a morning if you need to leave the ward. The grandparents work in the mornings only. They can sit with your child and entertain them while you are away. They also organise the “Games and Book activities Trolley” that comes around the wards regularly. These games and books are kept in a special bag for as long as your child needs them and are returned into a box by each wards reception area.

Hospital School

The Hospital School is available on the 3rd floor of Starship for school-age children to attend Monday to Friday.  The school teachers come to the wards each day and organise the children to either go to the school room or have the lessons in their bedrooms.  Only one child with CF goes to the school room each day – if there is more than one CF child in hospital the school teachers organise a roster for them so everyone has a turn of attending the school room.  Please bring any recent school work, a pencil case with pencils, eraser, ruler etc.  The school teachers are aware of cross infection risks between the children and wipe the computers and desks in between sessions.  The school teachers can liaise with your child’s own school teacher to keep special work ongoing so your child doesn’t miss out on important work at their own school.

What to expect regarding education when children have a hospital admission:

Children are eligible to receive teaching through the Northern Health School if they:

• are enrolled in a school;

• are currently absent or expected to be away from their regular school for more than 10 days because of illness or accident; or

• have been absent from school (or expect to be) for more than 40 days in a year due to a recurring illness.

Qualified teachers in Starship visit students on their third day in hospital. If the student meets the above criteria, the parent completes the Northern Health School Admission Form.  The student’s school of enrolment will then be contacted to find what is currently being undertaken by their class so that appropriate work can be provided.  The teacher will work with the student each day on the ward or in the classroom (whichever is applicable).

An Individual Education Plan is prepared (if the student is long term) and discussed with the parent/s.

If the student is unable to return to school after they leave hospital, the teacher in the hospital will organise for a community teacher to work with the student at home.

If you have any questions please contact:

Cushla Brown, Associate Principal, Northern Health School, Starship Hospital, 3097869