Jimmy* was just four when his mum began to notice that he wasn’t waking full of beans, like he normally would. And when he’d get sick, he’d get really sick.
He was diagnosed with enlarged adenoids and infected tonsils. Jimmy’s mum was worried. “When I learnt more, I realised the impact it could have on concentration, irritability, and fatigue and that this was actually quite serious. The long-term effects could really harm him.”
Jimmy was soon referred to Starship and put on a wait list to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. For many whānau tonsil and adenoid removal can be a really stressful experience. Often, they’re faced with long waits, extended time off work and school and a process that can be confusing and difficult to navigate. For Jimmy and his mum however, their experience was the opposite. “It was seamless and fast in comparison to what I had anticipated” his mum said. Their feedback on what worked for them has been invaluable and has helped the Clinical Pathways and Outcomes team make improvements to ensure that this is the norm for all tamariki who need tonsil and adenoid removal.

For Jimmy, having such a positive experience for his first operation means he’s not scared of hospitals. “He thought it was fun!” his mum laughs. “I wanted him to be as well as he could be so he could thrive.”



Clinical pathways are tools that hospitals and health providers use to organise and plan healthcare from beginning to end, so that when a patient is diagnosed with a medical condition, the team knows how best to get them treated and on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. For Starship’s Clinical Pathways and Outcomes team, the focus is to make sure our tamariki get equitable, world-class care and the best possible health outcomes no matter where in Aotearoa they live. Thanks to our wonderful customers, the Otolaryngology (ORL) pathways are one of the pathways the team has been able to re-design.
“The ORL pathways project is a re-design of how we treat our patients across the region who have the most common ear, nose and throat conditions,” says Paediatric ORL Surgeon Dr Edward Toll. As Dr Craig McCaffer, another Paediatric ORL Surgeon involved in the re-design project, explains “The aim of the re-designed pathway is to get the same approach for every child. The way we go about that is by streamlining the referral and diagnostic process, getting the patient from start to finish more quickly.”
This means tamariki and whānau are receiving care that’s consistent and more responsive to their needs.
In Jimmy’s case, his whānau was able to choose appointments on the weekends, which was a big help when navigating everyone’s busy schedules. They were also able to book Jimmy’s surgery over school holidays so that he wouldn’t have to miss any more school, and his mum wouldn’t have to take additional time off from work.
“Overall, I’m so grateful that my son was able to have the operation that he needed to be the true best version of himself. It was seamless and quite fast in comparison to what I had anticipated” Jimmy’s mum shared.

After his surgery, Jimmy’s mum became involved with the ORL pathways re-design project and was able to share their perspective and experience. “What helped to achieve the positive outcomes for my son was the accessibility and flexibility. Everything was more whānau-centred,” she says.
“Listening to whānau voice is a major contributing factor for positive Māori health outcomes. If we’re working alongside each other there’s absolutely more chance that the child will experience the outcomes we want to see,” Jimmy’s mum adds.
Watch the video to learn more about the Clinical Pathways and Outcomes Programme.


The impact of the Clinical Pathways and Outcomes Programme is enormous. The ORL pathways re-design means that tamariki can receive treatment for common ear, nose and throat conditions faster which reduces negative impacts on sleep, quality of life and learning, while their whānau have a less stressful and smoother experience.  

Thanks to the donations from Mercury’s wonderful customers, the Clinical Pathways and Outcomes team can continue to carry out their important mahi across Starship Child Health services – mahi which will lead to improved paediatric healthcare for all tamariki across Aotearoa.

Following the operation to remove his tonsils and adenoids Jimmy quickly became the best version of himself again. Post-surgery, he's sleeping well, thriving in school, and waking up every day full of beans!

Stories like Jimmy's remind us of the incredible impact we can have when we come together. Your support can make a big impact for more tamariki like him. Join our community of 24,000 generous donors today by adding a $3 donation to your monthly bill. That's less than the cost of a single cup of coffee, yet it can make a world of difference.

*Patient’s name has been changed for this story to protect his privacy. 



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