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East Lancashire Hospice Founder receives lifetime achievement award

Hospice founder Dr Merton Seigleman OBE was the very worthy winner of The Anne Norfolk Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 at an awards ceremony held in Leeds last night.

Dr Seigleman was honoured by the national organisation Hospice UK. He has been involved in hospice care for more than 40 years. After becoming a Consultant Anaesthetist in Blackburn in 1961, part of his continuing studies into pain control introduced him to the work of Dame Cicely Saunders. Inspired by the work of Dame Cicely, Dr Seigleman took the first steps to transform end of life care in East Lancashire by founding the East Lancashire Hospice.

The Hospice UK awards, now in their fourth year, aim to recognise the significant contribution that both individuals and innovative programmes have made to hospice care in local communities across the UK. This year the lifetime achievement awards have been named in honour of Hospice UK’s founder Anne, Duchess of Norfolk who died last year.

Hospice chief executive Lyn Stevenson said: “Being in the hospice, each day we see the impact of what Dr Seiglemans dream has had on our many patients and their families. Whenever you are out and about in the East Lancashire area, we are constantly reminded of the drive and enthusiasm Dr Seigleman showed in encouraging the community to get behind him to build the hospice with his vision being to stop others having to suffer in pain as his mother had, and this award is a national recognition of those achievements. In the hospice's 30th year, we are extremely proud of our founder and what the hospice has become today. As Dr Seigleman said over 30 years ago, ‘ We can’t stop our patients dying, but we could make sure that what time they had left was good quality time.’"

David Praill, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “We had so many nominations and such a high calibre of individuals and schemes being entered that the Hospice UK Awards judging panel was spoilt for choice. These awards confirm what a lot of us already know, that the UK is extremely privileged to have such incredible individuals and teams driving hospice care forward year after year. We really are grateful that through the support of The National Gardens Scheme we can shine a light on these fantastic achievements.”

To read more about Dr Seigleman's vision of setting up the hospice click here.