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Lyell McEwin Hospital celebrating 60 years


The Lyell McEwin Hospital is celebrating 60 years of caring for the community.

Opening as a small community hospital in 1959, LMH is today recognised as a leading teaching institution for health care professionals.

From small beginnings with 45 beds to service the growing population of the newly established satellite city of Elizabeth, it was opened by its namesake, then Minister for Health Sir Lyell McEwin.

Patients from the old Salisbury Hospital were transferred to the new hospital. The first Lyell patient was admitted five days later on 27 April 1959 and the first baby born on 29 April 1959.

The first surgery was performed on 12 May 1959, which was a caesarean section. Operating theatres were fully operational from June and there were 394 procedures performed in the first year.

By 1966 bed numbers had more than tripled to 153 beds to keep up with the growing population’s health needs. The original pavilion style of the hospital enabled additional ward blocks to be built and easily connected at both ends of the existing facility, without disturbing patients in the existing wards.

In 1968 The Victor Barrell Wing was opened with a Casualty Department (emergency department) and pathology lab. This allowed for more complex surgeries to be undertaken by the Emergency Medical Officer and for minor accident cases to be handled in proper facilities. The pathology service enabled for on-site testing for most tests required.

The first Outpatients building was opened in 1975 with services including orthopaedic, nose and throat, urology, obstetric, gastro-enterology, physiotherapy, dental, diabetic, radiology and stomal therapy.

In 1980 new accommodation for Extended Care services was opened, enabling the recruitment of additional social workers, physiotherapists, podiatrists and community health nurses.

In 2002, a major three-part redevelopment program of the Lyell McEwin Hospital worth in excess of $300 million began to meet the increasing needs of the growing northern suburbs and surrounding region.

This was completed in 2016 and included:

  • An additional 96 inpatient beds
  • A rooftop helipad
  • A 25-bed children’s ward
  • Dedicated Women’s and Children’s Birthing and Assessment Unit
  • ICU expansion
  • Operating theatre expansion
  • Upgraded emergency department
  • New Northern Cancer Centre – allowing for all chemotherapy and radiotherapy services under one roof.

This is an exciting time for the Lyell McEwin Hospital, as we not only mark 60 years of caring for our community, but the Hospital will be the centrepiece of the proposed Playford Health Precinct development, which will cluster together a range of public and private health services for the local community and the wider Northern region.

For more information please see our Lyell McEwin Hospital Fast Facts.


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