Humans of POWH: You've got mail

17 May 2022

Amidst the fast paced bustle of the corridors of our District’s hospitals is an unseen army – our Dock, Goods and Stores teams.

Many of them walk up to the equivalent of 18 kilometres a day as they bring vital equipment to our staff that they need every day. Very often it needs to be pronto.

Their steel trolleys are laden with everything from oxygen tanks, boxes of medical equipment and Action Figure toys for the youngest patients.

The delivery teams are a particularly welcome sight to the equipment managers of the Intensive Care Units.

During the pandemic, they took on extra work delivering PPE equipment, as well as boxes of wine, cakes and chocolates to doctors from grateful patients.

Chris Stratton, the manager of the SESLHD dock, said Christmas is always a busy time, as companies deliver “vans” full of Lego, Barbie Dolls and stuffed toys to the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

September is equally frantic, he says, as the flu season looms and the hospitals fill with the elderly needing care.

His team of eight have all gone “above and beyond” their usual duties over the last few years to keep the hospital supplied with essential equipment, he says.

Bandages, stethoscopes, gloves, catheters, masks, gowns: everything you could ever imagine that is needed in the operating theatre and the wards comes through the docks, mail and goods room. In the mail room alone, more than 50,000 letters and pathology reports are processed every month.

One staff member at the Randwick Campus, Thanh-Y-Le, has been delivering mail and goods for more than 25 years, and says he still loves the look of relief on people’s faces when he turns up.

Anne Milne, Director of Corporate and Legal Services, said the mail and goods team play a crucial role at SESLHD. “Their flexibility and ability to adapt to the needs of the organisation so rapidly is a credit to them. It is wonderful to see them receive recognition for their hard work and dedication."

So as you rush to your next appointment, say hello to the men and women pushing trolleys of equipment – they could be delivering something that is about to help save a life or help a sick child burst into a wonderful grin. They just don’t make a fanfare about it.