History of the Hospice


In 1976 the Sobell House Hospice opened its doors to those members of the Oxfordshire community affected by terminal illness.

As far back as 1962 the need for palliative, end of life care had been appreciated by the Oxford Radcliffe Trust (formerly the United Oxford Hospitals).  Sadly a lack of funds made any progress on the project impossible.

In 1972 a chance meeting between Dr Alistair Laing, Consultant Radiotherapist and a Dr Hughes of the National Society for Cancer Relief (NSCR, latterly Macmillan), resulted in a report confirming the need for 75 beds throughout Oxfordshire, catering for the needs of people affected by terminal illness, finding its way to the NSCR.

The President of the NSCR at the time, Sir Michael Sobell, was impressed by the report and decided to personally support the building of a hospice on the understanding that the NHS would fund the running of the hospice alongside donations from the local community, via what would become the Sobell House Hospice Charity.

Today the Sobell House Hospice is well known and well loved part of the Oxfordshire community.
The years since its opening have seen the Hospice develop across a number of fronts, including the opening of the Day Centre and provision of home care. In recent years the place of complementary therapies, chaplaincy work and social care have all been established. In November 2003 a new 20-bed hospice was opened on the current site to provide a modern hospice, and improve the service to the community of Oxfordshire.