The History of the Hospice

History Timeline

1950 - The First Hospice in Scotland

The Religious Sisters of Charity aided by the local community raised enough money to buy a house in Millbrae Crescent and founded the first Hospice in Scotland.  The Hospice was named after Queen Margaret of Scotland, a philanthropist who was granted saintly status in recognition of her charitable work. The building still stands today as a domestic dwelling just yards from the present Hospice site.

1952 - Another House Added

The first house was quickly outgrown and the house next door was bought and taken into use. Again, in a short time, it was very obvious that something further would need to be done if the needs of the sick were to be met. The Sisters decided that a purpose-built Hospice would be the only answer.

1971 - A purpose-built Hospice

The first turf of the new Hospice was cut on the 19th July 1960 and on the 29th September 1971, the new Hospice was opened to accommodate 60 patients: 30 patients with Palliative/End of Life Care needs and 30 patients with complex medical and nursing needs.

1988 - Community Palliative Care Service

In June 1988, the Hospice introduced its Community Palliative Care Service whereby two nurses trained in Palliative Care visited patients and their families/carers at home, providing pain and symptom management advice and offering psychological social and spiritual support throughout the illness and bereavement. 

1993 - First Floor Added

An Appeal Fund was launched in 1989 for the re-development and upgrading of the Hospice. The first-floor extension was opened in 1993, and the Specialist Palliative Care Unit, St Joseph’s Ward, moved upstairs to the newly developed 27-bed in-patient unit which allowed for the implementation of Day Hospice and Out-Patient Clinics to be delivered in the area downstairs.

1998 - Sir Patrick Hamill Education Centre Opens

In October 1998, a new state-of-the-art Education Centre was opened at the Hospice. The facility was named the Sir Patrick Hamill Education Centre in recognition of Sir Patrick's dedication and commitment to the Hospice as its Chairman for over 15 years. Sir Patrick loved the Hospice and therefore it was only right and fitting that the centre should be named after him.

2000 - Golden Jubilee Year

In the October of the Golden Jubilee Year, a new Hydrotherapy Pool was opened thanks to the great generosity of Reverend Alfred Graham Charles Langford.  

2006 - Mary Aikenhead Centre

In August 2006, we launched an appeal and work began on a new 30-bedded unit to modernise the ward for the elderly patients with complex and clinical nursing needs. The Centre was constructed to provide ten single rooms and nine twin rooms with the most up to date equipment with every room leading out onto their own private courtyard.

2012 - Royal Visit

Following months of intense planning, discreet meetings and an incredible amount of hard work, the Chief Executive and Board of Directors were delighted HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Hospice on Wednesday 4 July 2012 on the special occasion of HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.