Saying goodbye after 23 years: Dianne Ford leaves her legacy on Auburn Hospital

Dianne Ford is retiring after more than 20 years working at Auburn Hospital, and 40 years working as a Registered Nurse (RN).

She has spent the last 18 years as the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) of the Medical B Ward.

Dianne started working at Auburn Hospital in the year 2000, after having worked at both Lidcombe and Greenoaks Hospitals until their closing in 1996, and 2000 respectively.

Dianne recalled how fulfilling her time at Auburn Hospital has been, even having an input in the design and functionality of the new facility when the hospital went through its relocation.

She also reflected on a moment that made her feel especially valued.

“A patient was with us for three weeks before he died and his family were just so, so devoted to him and so thankful for everything that we did for him. They gifted us a coffee maker when he passed away, and then, 12 months later, on the one year anniversary of his death, they returned to the hospital to visit us.”

Staff from across the hospital turned up to farewell Dianne at an afternoon tea held by the hospital’s executive team, the closeknit nature of the staff evident in the number and diversity of people attending the event.

This was reflected when Dianne emotionally reflected on her decades at Auburn Hospital.

There is a family atmosphere here. People are very close, and a lot of the people that come here, stay here.

“I’ve been here 22 years and it’s just gone so quickly. I can remember my first shift in ICU. I remember the people I worked with on that first shift here. It just it doesn’t seem like 22 years.”

Dianne’s farewell was held on Auburn Hospital’s 115th Birthday, which marked another milestone in her career.

“It is significant to note that today, the 23rd of May, is the 40th anniversary of Dianne’s first shift as a registered nurse,” Kerry Newton, Director of Nursing & Midwifery NSW Health said during one of the speeches given that afternoon.

Dianne has provided guidance and leadership.”

Dianne has imparted her wisdom on many health professionals throughout her time.

“I would like to tell people coming into the profession now to hold on to the things that the old nurses have held on to, and that’s physical touch with your patients. Putting your hand on your patient and talking to your patient. Just learning how to chat to people.”

Dianne’s presence and expertise, as well as her famous pavlova, will be greatly missed as she leaves the district. WSLHD wishes her the best for her new chapter.