‘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 (1918 – 2005) was the pioneer of the modern hospice movement. Spurred on by a belief that as a community we must look after those who are dying and look after their families Dame Cicely went on to lead a revolution with radical innovations in end of life care. She opened St Christopher’s Hospice in London in 1967 – it was and remains dedicated to the care of patients who are dying.
Dame Cicely mentored and taught the young Dr Twycross who was appointed to Sobell Hospice following its opening in 1976.
Dame Cicely’s philosophy is as pertinent today as it was in the early 1960s. Sobell House Hospice must try during every minute of every day to provide individualised care of high quality to those patients who are very ill and dying - to continue Dame Cicely’s legacy. We must underpin our clinical practice with research and a willingness to listen, question and understand our feedback. We must find time to teach our colleagues who are eager to learn how to provide better care and to teach the friends and families of those we care for how to provide good care.
Looking to our future – our next 40 years serving Oxfordshire – we continue to try to help people to live until they die and to die peacefully. We must hold to the core philosophy of the Hospice movement and continue to champion good care for the dying and navigate the way through a massive change in the NHS and considerable financial challenges.
Dr Mary Miller
Consultant in Palliative Medicine
Clincal Lead Sobell House