A key objective of Cicely Saunders International was to establish the world’s first institute of palliative care, a centre of excellence housing research, education, information provision and clinical care. The Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care brings together academics, healthcare professionals, community organisations, patients and carers in one centre and acts as the hub for a network of international research. By providing a comprehensive approach to the physical, social and psychological needs of people with progressive illness, the Institute’s research feeds quickly and directly into practice and policy around the world – improving palliative care and enabling people to live better, with dignity and the least possible suffering.

The Institute opened in February 2010 and is situated next to King’s College Hospital, which provides high-quality palliative care for patients in South East London and the surrounding area. The Institute integrates this care with teaching and research, creating a multi-professional environment examining every aspect of palliative care.

King’s College London, our academic partner at the Institute, is the largest provider of healthcare education in Europe and has an international portfolio of research. Its Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation has an international reputation for teaching and research. The multi-faculty nature of King’s will ensure that the profile of palliative care research and education is truly multidisciplinary and reaches a broad audience.

The building is a welcoming and peaceful environment, sensitively designed with advice from Macmillan Cancer Support and in consultation with potential users and local patient groups such as Black Cancer Care. Ongoing user involvement ensures that patients and their carers are able to guide and participate in our vision for the Institute and its future use.