Saving & Extending Lives

When a child’s life hangs in the balance your support means they have a better chance. You help ensure Starship can attract, develop and retain the best and brightest people to deliver precision teamwork in critical situations and give our children the best chance of making it through, and getting back to living life.

Saving & Extending Lives

In 2018 we were delighted to announce a transformational gift from the Douglas Charitable Trust to ensure the on-going advancement of the (now named) Douglas Starship Simulation Training Programme. Delivering paediatric simulation training to doctors, nurses and clinicians both at Starship and around the country, the programme helps frontline teams get better at saving lives.

The funding boost will be used for an endowment fund to strengthen and grow Starship’s simulation program and fund it year after year. Partnering with even more hospitals, advancing mulit-disciplinary team training to improve paediatric care around New Zealand and the development of a discharge simulation programme for families of children with complex medical needs or dependence on medical devices, to help get them home are areas for expansion and growth.




Your generous donations provided vital funding for the Starship National Air Ambulance service throughout the year allowing the flight team the certainty of being ready to go 24 hours a day seven days a week, when somewhere in New Zealand a child’s life depended on them.



Through the Starship Foundation fellowship programme eight bright minded clinicians were able to be part of the team at Starship, advancing their knowledge and expertise through research while playing an integral role in caring for our children to improve, extend and save lives. 



Meet Lennox



Baby Lennox is eight months old and getting ready to go home for the first time.

Requiring a ventilator machine to support his breathing has kept Lennox in Starship’s NICU, then PICU since he was born and while the surgeons at our national children’s hospital are able to help him, he needs to grow bigger before they can operate.

In the meantime, his family are preparing to take their baby home on ventilation, something that might not have been possible without the Douglas Starship Simulation Program.

They are among the first Starship families involved in a discharge simulation program where simulation staff work together with the PICU team and partner with the family to provide individualised training using a manikin similar in size to the child and using the same medical equipment. The family are able to build confidence by practicing potential scenarios in a non-hospital environment.


Trish Wood, Operations Manager, Douglas Starship Simulation Training Programme – “It’s about helping prepare families of children who have high health needs, or dependence on technology, for discharge. We aim to empower these families to take care of their children in the community, where there’s no clinical staff immediately available to help.”