Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

Our history

It was the dream of Dr Anne Gilmore OBE, to bring a modern hospice to the city of Glasgow.

That dream took shape with the opening of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.

The late Glasgow GP studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, and pursued a career in geriatrics, before going on to become a consultant to the World Health Organisation, president of the British Society of Gerontology and president of the British Society of Thanatology.

She saw caring methods used in other countries to look after the terminally ill, and wanted to introduce a modern hospice for the people of Glasgow.

In 1980, staff at Black and White Whisky presented her with £4000 and a charitable trust was set up.

It was the idea of Glasgow’s then Lord Provost Michael Kelly to make the hospice a wedding gift to Charles and Diana from the people of Glasgow in 1981, and the following year Billy Connolly cycled from London to Glasgow to publicise it as part of the ongoing fundraising efforts.

By 1985 a volunteer-manned phone support line had been set up, within a year handling 100 calls a week.

In the early days the hospice offered outreach work, and nurses would visit patients in their homes, though it soon became obvious that a base was needed, and Glasgow City Council gifted two townhouses in Carlton Place to the hospice.

As hospice services grew, day services was added in 1986, then outpatients and home care services the year after.

The inpatient unit followed and Glasgow’s Hospice is now a world-class palliative care centre.

The royal couple visited in 1990, touring the building and chatting to patients, and over the years a host of famous faces have pledged their support, from  television presenter Carol Smillie and radio and television presenter Kaye Adams, to actor Karen Dunbar and comedian Des Clarke.

The hospice has come a long way from its early days but the dream of Dr Anne Gilmore has never been forgotten.