The Cook Hospital Board gave permission in the early 1980s to start a pain clinic with all running costs to be covered by community funding.

It wasn’t long before the needs of terminal patients were recognised and it was from here that a palliative care service was born.

A visit to the Palliative Care Service in Montreal, Canada for Dr James Carstens in 1981 proved to be a very influential one for the building of our service. Dr Carstens saw first-hand the benefits a dedicated palliative care service can have on a region and studied the practices of the service in Montreal, which were applied to the Gisborne model.

When the service was established in 1980 a total of 11 terminal patients were cared for. Today, we have up to 180 new patients every year.

To find out more information on the history of Hospice New Zealand please click here.