History

History

The Ayrshire Hospice was established to enhance the quality of remaining life of those who are suffering from advanced cancer, motor neurone disease and other life-limiting illnesses, as well as supporting families and carers facing the loss of a loved one.

On 24 October 1983 the first public meeting took place and at this meeting there was an overwhelming vote for the hospice fund to be established, to provide the County with its own hospice. The initial fundraising target was set at £400,000 and within 21 months this target had been reached.

In 1987 the Specialist Home Care Service began, offering advice and support to community patients across Ayrshire. The premises at 35 Racecourse Road were purchased and The Ayrshire Hospice dream finally became a reality on Wednesday 15 February 1989, when the doors were opened to its first patients. The hospice was officially opened in June of that year by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent.

Initially only seven beds were opened, quickly followed by another four but demand for the hospice services brought a decision to extend the building further. The hospice finally increased its in-patient beds to its current 20 in 2001.

A strategic review of hospice facilities and capabilities in relation to the consistent growth in referrals led to a commitment to further capital expansion. The purchase and development of the adjacent property at no. 37 Racecourse Road provided purpose built day services facilities, an Education Centre and accommodation for the Specialist Palliative Care Nursing Team.

As the hospice has grown it has become an essential part of health care in the Ayrshire region. The hospice now provides specialist palliative care to patients within the local community, day services and the in-patient unit. The service is provided free of charge.

The principles of care are based upon the patient and family together. The patient is treated as a whole person and helped to live as normal a life as possible despite illness. Despite all the changes and growth over the past 26 years the hospice philosophy remains unchanged. We exist to help care for those with advanced, progressive illness. We aim to enhance the quality of patients' lives by managing pain and other symptoms, together with providing emotional, social and spiritual support.