World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2021

Leave no-one behind – equity in access to palliative care

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day celebrates and shines a light on hospices and palliative care around the world, and this year’s chosen theme is: “Leave no-one behind – equity in access to palliative care.”

As we know, our Palliative Care Nurses provide care and support to, not only patients, but entire families. This essential role involves giving psychological, Social and Clinical support for patients and their loved ones.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Palliative Care has become even more important. The vulnerability of these patients has meant they have been unable to leave the home and have therefore been more isolated.

Palliative Care Pioneer, Dame Cicely Saunders understood the importance of Palliative Care and what was needed to ensure patients where give the best possible care and correct treatment, as well as providing ongoing support to their families. She founded the first modern hospice, St Christopher’s Hospice in London.

Her interest in palliative care developed at an early age and in 1945 she worked at a hospice as a volunteer nurse. It was within this role where she saw what was needed to provide better pain relief control and started planning a specialised hospice in the late 1950’s.

In 1957 Cicely qualified as a doctor at St Thomas’ Medical school and in 1958 started working at St Joseph’s Hospice in London, where she was awarded a research scholarship to work on pain control in the terminally ill.

In 1967, she founded St Christopher’s Hospice in London and still to this day she is referred to as “the founder of the modern hospice movement”.

Throughout her life she received many honours and awards for the work she did.

On 14th July 2005, Dame Cicely passed away at the St Christopher’s Hospice in London.

“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 die peacefully, but also to live until you die”
– Dame Cicely Saunders

Thank you to our Nurses and Practitioners who work within Palliative Care.

We would like to say a huge thank you to our clinicians who work within a hospice or a palliative care setting, for their hard work and ongoing support, not only to the patients, but to families also.



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