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Remembering hospice pioneer Dr James Hanratty

The Institute pays tribute to the life and work of Dr James Hanratty, pioneer palliative care physician and co-founder of Help the Hospices. 

Dr Hanratty, who has died aged 94, was the first medical director of St Joseph’s Hospice, where he pioneered the education of doctors, multidisciplinary team meetings, and early use of the syringe driver to improve pain control. Along with Anne, Duchess of Norfolk, Professor Eric Wilkes and Professor Peter Quillam, he also founded Help the Hospices.

Professor Irene Higginson, Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute, said:

"James Hanratty is one of the unsung pioneers of palliative medicine. He was a quiet, modest man who did much to train doctors, advance holistic palliative care, pain control and multidisciplinary team working while he worked as the first medical director of St Joseph’s Hospice. He led the building of their education centre, and went on to co-found the charity Help the Hospices so that other hospices could benefit. His watchwords were compassion with competence, one without the other not being enough." 

See: "Remembering James Hanratty, pioneer of hospice medicine and co-founder of Help the Hospices" Authors: Professor Irene J Higginson and Judge James R.A. Hanratty RD06 March 2014