The first functional hospital in Durban, "The Bayside Hospital", was situated on the Victoria Embankment at the site now occupied by the Supreme Court.
In 1879, the new Government Hospital was built at the present site, and named after Rt. Hon. Henry Addington who held the post of Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1801.
The name Addington originates from that of the Estate of the late BWH Addison, the first Superintendent of the hospital in present site in 1878. The other opinion about the origin of the name, says that a friend of Mr Adison was instructed in 1860 to build a township in Durban to be called Addington Township.
Additions to the Hospital complex were ongoing, and the hospital as it stands today was completed and officially opened on 10 November 1967. As one gazes out at the sea from the high rise building, one can see close to shore the remains of the wreck of a 4 500 ton merchant ship, the Ovington Court, that ran aground on the beach in front of the Hospital on 25 November 1940. Doctors were sent to the beach render first-aid. The wards were cleared and many of the survivors were admitted. It was unbelievable that anyone could have been drowned so near the shore. This was the first of many emergency situations that the Hospital has responded to.
Indeed, the hospital’s priority still remains the promotion of good service, adherence to service standards and recognition of high performing staff. “Guided by principles of Batho Pele, a desire to be amongst the best in the delivery of public health service is all that drives the institution forward”, says one of the staff at Addington. Today’s Hospital Manager, Dr J. Hurst shares similar views regarding service excellence. She has been praised in many quarters, associated with many achievements the hospital has won, and initiated a number of projects in the name of service excellence “We work tirelessly to fulfill our mission and each problem is a driving force towards success”, said Dr Hurst in one her opening speech of the projects.
Today’s Addington enjoys being at the cutting edge of others with its staff understanding the importance of collective action”, said one of the staff members.
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Copyright © KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, 2001