It seems unbelievable that 40 years ago there were no specialist palliative care teams in Wales. People died in hospitals, often without having open conversations about their illness and with staff speaking in hushed tones. Pain relief was poorly understood.
Then in 1980 all that began to change. The community hospice service George Thomas Hospice Care (now City Hospice) was started by the Little Company of Mary and a few years later Holme Tower Nursing Home in Penarth closed its doors, to reopen in 1987 as the Marie Curie Hospice, with 38 beds, day care and a home care team service for Cardiff and the Vale and beyond.
By the turn of the century, there were services across North, South and West Wales. But there was wide variation in what was on offer and cancer patients accessed services far more than those dying of other conditions.
You can read more of this article from Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff here: Wales Online website.