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  1. ITV Report

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Hospice movement

Dame Cicely Saunders founded St Christopher’s Hospice in 1967 Credit: St Christopher's Hospice
  • ITV News Central reporter Jane Hesketh

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Hospice movement.

Its been an incredible success story - the brainchild of a nurse, Cicely Saunders, who went on to become a medical social worker and a doctor.

She revolutionised the way in which society cares for the ill, the dying and the bereaved. Credit: PA Images

She became very involved in the care of terminally illl patients at St Thomas Hospital in London.

Exasperated by the hospital doctor attitude of "there's nothing more to be done", Cicely decided there was "so much more to be done" and set about setting up her own hospice - St Christopher's in 1967.

Treetops hospice in Derby provides day care for adults. Credit: ITV News Central

She had a single minded vision to revolutionise the way people with terminal illnesses or life limiting conditions were treated.

She recognised the way hospitals dealt with them was inadequate, and wanted to find a better and more dignified way to provide end of life care.

Her legacy has provided the blueprint for hospices ever since, and now adults, children and babies are offered the best possible care, without virtually any funding from the government.

200
hospice care centers across the country.

The hospice movement is a huge success story - there are 200 in the country supporting over 200,000 people and their families, but they're largely self funded and receive very little money from the government.

Treetops hospice in Derby provides day care for adults. Its a place where 'life goes on' - not a place where people go to die, but it is a safe haven for anyone who know their time is limited.

The oncologist said I'd only got 3 months to live - that was 4 years ago. I thought thats nice. I told them I've got too much to do, than to die that quickly. I got myself on my feet and when things get bad I've got pals here to talk to.

– Patient Jill Temple
It's aim is to be a safe haven for anyone who knows their time is limited. Credit: ITV News Central

See Jill and other peoples stories on ITV Central News tonight at 6pm.

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