Marie Curie Cancer Care

A brief history of Marie Curie Cancer Care

The story begins in 1948, the same year the National Health Service was launched.

Not long before the Hampstead-based Marie Curie Hospital was transfered to the NHS, a group of committee members from the hospital decided to preserve the name of Marie Curie in the charitable medical field.

This was the beginning of the Marie Curie Memorial Foundation − a charity dedicated to alleviating suffering from cancer today − today known as Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Following the donation of an engagement ring to help raise funds for the charity, the very first appeal was launched and brought in a substantial £4,000. By 1950 the ongoing appeal had raised a staggering £30,000 and two years later the Marie Curie Memorial Foundation officially became a charity - number 207994.

An extensive nationwide survey was undertaken to help identify medical, nursing and research needs in relation to cancer. The results formed the basis of the work of the Foundation and, largely, still do today.

The charity dedicated itself to:

  • providing specialist homes for the care of cancer patients
  • providing nursing for patients at home
  • educating the public on the symptoms and treatment of cancer
  • providing urgent welfare needs

At the time these ideas were quite revolutionary and the Marie Curie Memorial Foundation quickly established itself as a leader in the field of improving facilities for cancer patients.

Today Marie Curie Cancer Care:

  • is dedicated to providing more and better care for patients and their families through the Marie Curie Nursing Service and its nine hospices.
  • is committed to carrying out the research and innovation necessary to find out what the best possible care is and how best to provide it.
  • will ensure measures are in place to give people the choice of place their end of life care and death through The Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme
  • is determined that the needs of the dying remain on the political agenda and will continue to campaign for patients to be able to die in their own homes in all four countries of the UK through its policy and public affairs work.

Much has changed since the pioneering days of 1948 but our core values have remained constant – putting patients and families first.

www.mariecurie.org.uk

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