Dr Stephen Kirkham, Chair of Trustees at Forest Holme Hospice Charity, has been awarded the Anne Norfolk Lifetime Achievement Award by Hospice UK at their annual conference and awards ceremony held in Liverpool on 10 November.
This is the fifth year of Hospice UK’s national awards and this particular award aims to recognise the significant contribution an individual has made to hospice care over a number of years.
On receiving this accolade, Dr Kirkham said “Everything I have managed to achieve within palliative care has been done with the help of all my colleagues over the years, but it’s only through listening to patients and their families that you really find out what needs to be achieved and this award is for them. All through my career I wanted to provide a single palliative care service which could be accessed easily by patients and their families for whatever kind of help they needed and at any particular time.”
In 1991 Dr Kirkham left Pilgrims Hospice in Canterbury, where he had been Medical Director for ten years, to come to Dorset to set up the Palliative Care Service in Poole. He was lead clinician here until his retirement in 2012.
Forest Holme Hospice, part of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is the result of his vision of patient-focused integrated palliative care service to serve the local community at home, in Poole Hospital, in care homes or in the Hospice itself. It is testament to his passion, drive, leadership, dedication that Forest Holme is a centre of excellence and one of the most cost-effective palliative care services in the country. This award comes during a year that sees Forest Holme Hospice celebrate its 21st anniversary.
Even though Dr Kirkham retired from clinical practice in 2012, he subsequently took on the role of Chair of Trustees at Forest Holme Hospice Charity to support Forest Holme Hospice in promoting and delivering excellence in palliative and end of life care for generations to come.
Antonia Bunnin, Director of Hospice Support and Development at Hospice UK, said: “We have had so many inspiring and heart-warming entries for this year’s awards, including some fantastic examples of trail-blazing schemes. There are some extraordinary individuals in our member hospices who, in their day-to-day activities, go above and beyond to transform care for terminally ill and dying people and their families.”