‘Like a country hospital in a city setting’: Inside Mount Druitt Hospital’s Emergency Department

Paula Fenton has been a part of the Mount Druitt Hospital family for more than 20 years.

As a Clinical Support Officer in the Emergency Department – and unofficial keeper of the photo albums – Paula has seen a lot of change at the hospital over the years.

“My earliest memory is how busy it was for such a small hospital,” Paula said.

“There were times when we would admit more than 25 patients in a night.

“In those days we had cardiology, medical, surgical, ICU and Paediatric wards. Everyone pulled together to get the job done.”

Mount Druitt Hospital first opened its doors in 1982, with Queen Elizabeth II in attendance at the official opening.

The hospital has since become a cornerstone of the local community, and Paula says that this sense of banding together is what keeps the hospital running smoothly.

“Mount Druitt operates like a country hospital in a city setting,” Paula said.

“Most staff have worked there for a long time and we all know each other. When things get tough everyone looks out for each other.”

In the hospital’s 40 years of operation, there are a lot of changes that have swept through the corridors. Paula has curated the photos in this article, showcasing Mount Druitt Hospital in the early-mid 1980s.

For Paula, the 40th anniversary celebrations are an exciting time not just for the hospital but for the broader community.

“I’m glad to celebrate and recognise the wonderful support that the hospital has given to the community over the years,” she said.

“We get to say thank you to those who used to work here and those who work here now; and to those who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic, including maintenance, security, volunteers, physio, cleaners, wards people and clerical staff.”