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Cicely Centenary Celebrations Event Series


Although most people in the UK will know someone who has received palliative care, whether in hospital, at home or in a hospice, not everyone is aware of the individual who pioneered this area of medicine and, in doing so, transformed the type of care that people with life-limiting conditions receive. Dame Cicely Saunders was born a century ago, on 22nd June 1918, and over the course of her life undertook a number of roles, as a nurse, medical social worker, doctor and research lead, in order to bring her vision of palliative care to realisation. 

St Christopher’s Hospice, which Cicely founded in 1967, is widely recognised as the first place to combine teaching and clinical research, pain and symptom control, and compassionate care. It was here that Cicely was able to develop the approach which was instrumental to the care provided at St Christopher’s; that patients need spiritual, emotional and social support, as well as effective pain relief, at the end of life. This emphasis on the holistic, as well as the physical, needs of patients is a model which has been adopted worldwide and continues to lie at the heart of care for the dying. 

Cicely died in 2005 at the hospice she founded, leaving behind a legacy which continues to influence the person-centred care that patients at the end of life receive. Her life’s work of improving palliative care provision and support for people with progressive illness is continued by the Cicely Saunders Institute, the first purpose-built centre combining research, education and clinical practice, and the foundation established in Cicely’s name, Cicely Saunders International.

Programme of Events

This year, to mark the centenary of Cicely’s birth and her remarkable contributions to the field of palliative care, we are curating a series of events which celebrate her life and showcase the ongoing development of palliative care, both in the UK and internationally. The Cicely Saunders Institute will host a range of lectures, seminars, workshops and other special events, bringing together the research and clinical practice spearheaded by Cicely over the course of her life. 

Cicely Centenary Celebration Event Series
Date and TimeTitle Speaker Location 
Thursday 8th and Friday 9th February 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm New Palliative care Outcome Scale (POS) two-day Clinical and Research Workshops Various speakers, including Professor Irene Higginson, Professor of Palliative Care and Policy, King's College London / King's Health Partners; Director, Cicely Saunders Institute; Scientific Director, Cicely Saunders International Dinwoodie Lecture Theatre, CSI
Wednesday 24th January 2018, 4pm-5pm NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US: Including people with learning disabilities Associate Professor Irene Tuffrey-Wijne (RN, PhD), Associate Professor, Kingston & St. George’s University and Amanda Cresswell, Co-researcher Dinwoodie Lecture Theatre, CSI

Wednesday 28th February, 4pm-5pm 

Why missing data matter Dr Jamilla Hussain, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow, Hull York Medical School Dinwoodie Lecture Theatre, CSI

Wednesday 28th March 2018, 4pm-5pm



Monday 9th July 2018 10am-4pm

Hospice and Palliative Care in the USA: Policy Update and Future Challenge


Michal Galazka International Study Day: New Frontiers, New Technologies

Dr Pedro L Gozalo (PhD), Health Economist at Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, and Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice (Research), Brown School of Public Health, USA


A one-day conference presenting research from international speakers on remote monitoring in the community, the implications of new technology, including wearables, the global aspects of technology in different locations, and the opportunities for big data and outreach presented by technology.

Dinwoodie Lecture Theatre, CSI


Dinwoodie Lecture Theatre, CSI

More events will be announced here soon! Please follow us on Twitter and sign up to our CSI mailing list to stay up-to-date on all the latest news and events.

Join in online

There will be plenty of online activity to engage with over the next 12 months. Please keep an eye on the Cicely Saunders Institute Twitter feed and the hashtag #Cicely100. We will be sharing Cicely’s most iconic quotes (#VoiceofCicely), as well as images from the ‘Light for Cicely’ installation, which was created by artist Caroline McCarthy and features contributions from family, friends and former colleagues (#LightforCicely). Key moments and photographs from Cicely’s life will be shared by Cicely Saunders International on Twitter (#CicelysLegacy). We will also be exploring materials from the archive, including her personal writings, photographs and recordings, on our Instagram account. 

If you have a memory or experience of Cicely that you would like to share, please feel free to post on Twitter using the hashtag #Cicely100 or email us at so that we can create an online scrapbook of recollections and personal anecdotes.


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