Hospice: 01206 845 566

SinglePoint: 01206 890 360

Contrast

Text Size

a a
X

18th May 2020

Heritage stories: Dr Peter Kennedy

In 1979 Dr Peter Kennedy was a consultant physician in respiratory diseases working at the now closed Myland Hospital, alongside ward sister Deidre Allen.

They had a shared belief that end of life care for their patients needed to be improved:
Dr Peter Kennedy


 After attending a course on the new discipline of care in a hospice setting, Deidre suggested there should be a public meeting.

It was called for 6th July 1979 at the Town Hall, Colchester.

Deidre and I spoke, along with Dr George Rhys-Lewis from the radiotherapy department in Essex County Hospital, to a full capacity audience. We were amazed that so many people came to this meeting!

We needed to raise funds and the response was enthusiastic because people supported the idea of a hospice. Many came forward in order to form a steering committee and an appeal was launched to raise money.

That was great for us because it meant there were well intentioned, civic minded people in the community who were prepared to do the hard work that was necessary. They worked valiantly, raised the funds.

There was a lot of fear about death but certainly the hospice movement has made huge strides, and I think the public are better aware and better educated about health matters. I’m sure there is still concern but my impression is that the Hospice staff are here to dispel those illusions, and to look after people and make them comfortable and peaceful. The atmosphere of St Helena Hospice is certainly not the atmosphere of the medical ward.

Although Deidre never had the opportunity to work at St Helena Hospice, she was an important figure in its history. I was later invited to be the honorary consultant physician.

It was a great pleasure and an honour to play a small part. What a magnificent institution it is. It’s made so much difference to the lives of people in north east Essex and long may it continue to do so.

St Helena Hospice Heritage Stories project supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund
 

Related news and stories

 

Queen Mother's visit to St Helena Hospice

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visited Colchester on 11th April 1986 to officially open the inpatient unit.

View more

People's Princess Visit

Diana, Princess of Wales officially opened the Joan Tomkins day centre on 26th April 1988, where she captivated patients, hospice volunteers and staff.

View more

I planted the long border that goes up the drive

Angela d’Angibau was part of the team of volunteers who worked tirelessly before The Hospice opened in May 1985, to create a tranquil garden for people to enjoy and reflect in.

View more

Heritage stories: Early days

Anticipating the arrival of our first patient, after six years of planning, fundraising and building.

View more

Heritage stories: Dr Elizabeth Hall

Dr E chaired the 1979 steering group and was the first medical Director.

View more

Heritage stories: Mary Fairhead

Mary found the site for the new hospice and was part of the appeal committee.

View more

Heritage story: Allan Crabtree

Allan promoted the new St Helena Hospice in the community.

View more

Heritage stories: Lisa Brenchley

Lisa was the first patient to be admitted to St Helena Hospice.

View more
 
 
Basket 0

Items in basket: 0

View Basket
Spinner