The Modern Hospice Movement – Our 50th Anniversary!
Published to Other News on Jul 24, 2017
“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” – Dame Cicely Saunders
Dame Cicely Saunders is recognised as the founder of the modern hospice movement. Dame Cicely revolutionised the way in which society cares for people with life-limiting illnesses.
Dame Cicely started working in end of life care as a volunteer nurse and was involved with the care and support of patients living with terminal illness. She identified a need for better pain control in end of life care, and started planning a specialised hospice in the late 1950s. Having been told that she would never get her idea accepted in medicine unless she became a doctor, Cicely qualified as a doctor at St Thomas’ Medical School in 1957. In 1958 she was awarded a research scholarship by the Halley Stewart Trust to work on pain control in the terminally ill.
Dame Cicely was a pioneer in the field of end of life care. She planned that her specialised hospice would be the first research and teaching hospice linking expert pain and symptom control, compassionate care, teaching and clinical research. She began fundraising for the hospice in 1963 and by 1965 she had enough to start building.
The first modern hospice, St Christopher’s Hospice in London, opened in 1967.
The specialist care and support we provide here at Bolton Hospice is, still to this day, modelled on Dame Cicely’s holistic approach to end of life care. We not only take care of patients' physical needs, we consider their emotional, spiritual and social needs too. And we support families and close friends, both during illness and in bereavement. We provide expert pain and symptom control, provide compassionate, personalised care to patients and families, and we have an education department that is committed to providing an effective learning environment and promoting the education of our own staff and other healthcare professionals.
Our mission, like that of Dame Cicely Saunders, is for people to live as well as possible after diagnosis to the end of their lives. We only exist now thanksto the vision of Dame Cicely Saunders and her determination to raise awareness of the need for specialist hospice care and support for people living with life-limiting illnesses.
‘I did not found hospice; hospice found me.’ – Dame Cicely Saunders