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Hospices involved in this project

St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh

In 2017 St Columba’s Hospice is marking its 40th year. We opened in 1977 and in the four decades that have passed since then we have seen many changes. Here, we look to delve a little in to the history of St Columba’s Hospice.

The history of St Columba’s Hospice goes back to the mid-1960s when, following a visit to St Christopher’s in London, Ann Weatherill – Matron of Corstorphine and Beech Mount Hospital in Edinburgh – was so inspired by the care given to the dying that together with Dr Derek Doyle she created a committee to raise the money needed to build Scotland’s first modern hospice.

After many years of fundraising, St Columba’s Hospice first opened its doors in 1977 with 15 in-patient beds and three months’ running costs. Over the years it has grown and evolved into an exemplary provider of specialist palliative care for thousands of people with terminal illnesses in Edinburgh and the Lothians, while also providing support to their relatives and loved ones.

For more information follow the link: http://www.stcolumbashospice.org.uk

Marie Curie (Edinburgh)

Marie Curie’s origins are linked to the Marie Curie Hospital, at 2 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead.

This pioneering hospital, opened in 1930 by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, specialised in the “radiological treatment of women suffering from cancer and allied diseases”. It was staffed by medical women, and cared for 700 patients a year in 39 beds, with facilities for radium and x-ray therapy, and modern pathological and research laboratories.

In 1944, most of the hospital was destroyed by a direct hit in an air raid. It took three weeks to recover the hospital’s radium sources, which were stored in steel cylinders in the floor.

In 1948, five members of the re-establishment committee set up to oversee rebuilding of the hospital decided to separate themselves from the new NHS. Instead, they sought to perpetuate the name of Marie Curie in the charitable medical field.

The Marie Curie International Memorial was formally established on 6 July 1948, and shortly afterwards became the Marie Curie Memorial Foundation. This was the beginning of the charity that is now known as Marie Curie.

Around the same time, fundraising for the new charity started when Mrs Alice Macpherson donated her diamond engagement ring, which sold for £75.

The foundation then launched an appeal, bringing in £4,000, and Marie Curie’s daughter Eve gave us permission to use her mother’s name.

Working with the Queen’s Institute of District Nursing, the charity’s inaugural committee launched a joint national survey to investigate the needs of cancer patients and the best ways of helping them.

From the early 1980s, Marie Curie Homes (later Marie Curie Hospices) moved away from providing long-term nursing care to cancer patients, and became increasingly focused on hospice care.

This meant they cared for more patients, who were more seriously ill, usually for shorter periods of time.

The medical side of care was increasingly led by consultants in palliative medicine, while specialised services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy were provided by allied health professionals.

Marie Curie Hospices also developed a wide range of day services, reaching out into their communities.

Marie Curie pioneered new ways of providing care for terminally ill people, helping them to stay at home until the end of their lives.

Working closely with the NHS, local independent hospices and other charities, we developed services designed around people’s needs. Research showed that we successfully helped more terminally ill people to remain in their homes.

Our strategic plan for 2014-19 sets out our response to the challenges faced by people living with a terminal illness today. We plan to offer care and support to more people, reach them sooner after their diagnosis and help them in different ways.

For more information follow the link:https://www.mariecurie.org.uk