Emotional farewell to hospice director after 18 years

A much-loved hospice director was treated to a This Is Your Life-style farewell before she moved on to pastures new after 18 years in the role.

Wednesday, 1st April 2015, 10:00 am
Dr Ros Taylor receives her MBE for Services to Hospice Care last year PNL-150331-151858001

Dr Ros Taylor MBE left the Hospice of St Francis in Northchurch to take up her post as National Director of Hospice Care at Hospice UK this week and staff, patients, families, volunteers and supporters turned out to say goodbye.

A tea party sawmore than 70 past and present volunteers share tea and cake with Dr Taylor, who thanked them for their contribution to the charity in Spring Garden Lane.

In a separate reception at Ashlyns School in Berkhamsted on Monday, more than 300 past and present staff, trustees, supporters, families of former patients and friends turned out to say goodbye.

In a surprise This is Your Life-style presentation, current and former colleagues, volunteers and bereaved family members paid tribute to Dr Taylor and her embodiment of the hospice’s values.

Highlights from her career include the night she spent in Bovingdon’s Mount Prison to raise money for the charity, to the pivotal moment in the final appeal pleading for permission for the new hospice building to be built.

There were also numerous stories about the care they received from the dedicated palliative care doctor, who started her career as a GP and was awarded an MBE last year after being nominated by former patient, Boo Armstrong, from Berkhamsted.

Chairman of trustees Charles Toner said: “Ros has been an inspirational leader and touched so many people’s lives in the past 18 years. She knew she couldn’t add days to people’s lives, but she knew how to add life to their days.”

Dr Taylor said on the night: “It feels like a cross between a funeral and a wedding! Lots of people want to be at their own funeral to hear all the lovely things said about them, and I am completely overwhelmed by all that’s been said and touched by the sheer numbers who have wished me well.

“I’m going to miss the hospice tremendously, although I am privileged to be going on to shape the future of hospice care at a national level.”

She thanked her family, her ‘extraordinary’ colleagues, volunteers and the patients she’s cared for, who have taught her so much.

Steve Jamieson, former deputy director of nursing at the Royal College of Nursing, succeeds Dr Taylor today.