BUILDINGS have changed, services have come and gone but the culture remains the same since Paul Baddock did his nursing training at Mount Druitt Hospital in the mid-1980s.
He was part of the first nursing student intake at Mount Druitt and returned in 1996 as part of the design team for the palliative care ward.
He stayed on as palliative care manager for 15 years after it opened it 1998, and remains at Mount Druitt today as after-hours campus manager.
"It's got bigger, but the hospital still has that country, homely feel it's always had, unlike the bigger juggernauts," Mr Baddock said.
"There's a nice community spirit here. I don't think the care is any different from when I did my nursing training.
"The staff are the backbone of the hospital. The community cares about its hospital and vice versa. It hardly ever gets hit with graffiti."
He admitted going into palliative care was the last thing on his mind when he trained at Mount Druitt.
Mr Baddock has seen the palliative care unit expand from an eight-bed unit to a comprehensive ward with an all-hours phone number, and is the only such facility between Westmead and Dubbo.
He dismissed rumours about the hospital closing.
"I wouldn't want to front the community uproar if that ever happened," Mr Baddock said.
"Blacktown and Nepean hospitals would never cope with the added workload."
He admits it will be be a sad day when the time comes for him to leave Mount Druitt Hospital.
"But I have no plans to leave any time soon," he stressed.