Help the Hospices appoints new National Director for Hospice Care

Jul 14, 2014

Help the Hospices today announces the appointment of Dr Ros Taylor MBE as its new National Director for Hospice Care.

Currently a Trustee at Help the Hospices, Dr Taylor is a leading figure in the hospice and palliative care sector with more than 20 years’ experience of both providing and championing quality, person-centred care for terminally ill people and their families.

She is Director of the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and will continue in this post, combining it with her new part-time national role. The new position will involve her driving the clinical agenda for hospice care at a national strategic level and promoting and supporting excellence in the end of life care sector.

Confirming the appointment, David Praill, Chief Executive of Help the Hospices, said:

"We are delighted to have appointed someone of Ros’s calibre who brings a wealth of clinical and wider hospice sector expertise and experience to this important role.

"Ros combines a formidable working knowledge of hospice care with a deep-felt humanity for the needs of terminally ill people and their families. She is hugely passionate about sharing the expertise and compassionate ethos of hospices more widely to raise standards of care in hospitals and other settings.

"Ros will bring strong leadership, energy and creativity to this role, helping to steer and navigate the changes of an increasingly complex care system and ensuring hospices are pivotal in influencing end of life care for the better, wherever it is provided."

Commenting on her appointment, Dr Taylor said:

"I am absolutely delighted to take on this position at such an exciting time for the hospice and palliative care sector, full of both challenge and opportunity.

"The UK’s rapidly increasing ageing population will lead to substantial extra demand for hospice care in the coming decades. Hospices will have a vital role, not only in developing innovative ways to support care, but also in educating and partnering with other organisations and local communities to provide responsive, relevant and kind care.

"I am indebted to Heather Richardson - former National Clinical Lead at Help the Hospices - who has taken forward the clinical agenda for hospices in massive steps, through her underpinning of the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care and the new partnerships she has fostered at every level. I have been inspired by Heather’s vision and challenge for the sector, and look forward to continuing in her footsteps."

Dr Taylor began her career as a GP in Cambridgeshire and Cumbria and went on to lead an innovative palliative inpatient unit in West Cumbria Hospital.

She has been Director at the Hospice of St Francis since 1997 where her achievements have included: leading a successful £6m project to rebuild the hospice on a new site, transforming day care services into a wellbeing and early intervention service and more recently promoting a vital partnership with the local hospital to foster a new culture in end of life care at ward level. She still has a medical role at St Francis, meeting patients on the inpatient unit and in the community which she says has kept the patient and family voice at the heart of all developments at the Hospice of St Francis.

Dr Taylor was elected as a Trustee to the Board of Help the Hospices in 2009. She was re-elected in 2013 and also served as Chair of the charity’s Clinical Committee. She will stand down from the Board when she takes up her new appointment. She has a special interest in medical education and "whole person care", supporting all of an individual’s needs, not only those relating to medical care. She has lectured widely at conferences in the UK and overseas on a range of topics including clinical care and leadership.

Dr Taylor was awarded an MBE in January of this year for services to hospice care.

She begins her role at Help the Hospices in October.

Notes to Editor

  • Help the Hospices is the UK’s leading charity for hospice care which supports and champions the work more than 200 hospices across the country.
  • Hospices provide vital care for people with terminal illnesses and life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice at: This service is managed by Help the Hospices. You can also follow all the latest news on Twitter at @ehospicenews.

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