St Christopher’s Hospice was founded in London in 1967 and began the modern worldwide hospice movement. In 2001, the organization received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

Care for the dying

The movement’s inspiration was Dame Cicely Saunders OM, DBE, FRCP, FRCN, who became a doctor to fulfill her lifetime mission to change existing medical and social attitudes about the care of the dying. Her groundbreaking work in pain management for the dying proved pain could be prevented, not just managed, and this became a cornerstone of hospice care.

A model of compassionate palliative care

St Christopher’s model of compassionate palliative care—providing emotional, spiritual, and social support, along with expert nursing and medical care—has elevated and transformed the lives of the terminally ill. The needs of both patients and those close to them are addressed as a “unit of care.”

This organization’s pioneering work combines clinical care with scientific research, education, and training, inspiring hospice initiatives in more than 120 countries. More than 100,000 health professionals have studied at St Christopher’s, influencing standards of care for the dying throughout the world.

Dame Cicely Saunders died peacefully at age 87 on July 14, 2005, at the hospice she founded.