“The team spirit was always amazing at LOROS, even 35 years ago”

Published on 25th September 2020

Two of the women instrumental in setting up LOROS returned to the hospice yesterday, some 35 years on.

LOROS Hospice’s first ever chair of trustees, Barbara Keene, and first President, Lady Clarissa Palmer, played a key role in establishing LOROS and opening the inpatient ward in September 1985.

The pair, who were visiting LOROS to open a timeline to commemorate its 35th anniversary, recalled the anxiety with which people viewed hospices in those days, and the fear they had to overcome to get support for LOROS.

“People didn’t understand what hospice care was. It was viewed as a death sentence,” said Lady Palmer. “The word hospice filled people with horror.”

“We had to educate people. It was so important people understood what the care was, and that patients could stay for a short while and then go home.”

Focusing on the patients was always a big part of the LOROS approach to end of life care, remembers Barbara.

“I made sure that clinical staff had a voice at our trustee meetings, and invited the matron and medical consultant to attend. There was a real team spirit, everyone pulling together to offer the best care and advice possible,” said Barbara.

“I’m so proud to see that it’s still the priority and LOROS is in safe hands.”

Lady Palmer added, “I feel very privileged to have been involved. Local people raised the money to establish LOROS and they are still at the heart of it now. We must have helped thousands and thousands over the years.”

John Knight, CEO of LOROS Hospice, paid tribute to the hard work and vision of Barbara and Lady Palmer. He said, “The strong governance that was put in place right at its inception has been key to LOROS’ success. Without their leadership we wouldn’t be here now.”

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