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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Harlington Hospice and the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity have legally merged our operations. Our combined clinical and fundraising strengths will ensure that even when faced with the reality of death, everyone who comes to us will be supported to live each day their own way, to the fullest. To mark our merger, we’re also launching a new brand that reflects the values that have been, and always will be, at the heart of what we do: being collaborative, responsive, thoughtful and courageous.

Please read our FAQs about the merger and rebranding below. If you have any further questions, please email us at communications@harlingtonhospice.org.

The services at the Michael Sobell Hospice were delivered by East & North Herts NHS Trust until June 2018 when the Inpatient Unit was closed due to major internal NHS changes. At that time, the charity’s Trustees explored a number of options to re-open the Unit including talking to the team at Harlington Hospice. Harlington Hospice had been delivering services for people living alongside a serious and terminal illness in the south of the Borough of Hillingdon for almost 38 years. Harlington Hospice worked extremely hard to negotiate contacts with the Clinical Commissioning Group and provided the necessary clinical and administrative processes and procedures needed to operate the new Inpatient Unit. With their support, the Inpatient Unit was re-opened in December 2019, with the first patient admitted in January 2020. 

After four years of successful collaboration, we knew we wanted to become a more unified charity. Merging has allowed us to join up the dedicated clinical teams from Harlington Hospice’s side, and experienced fundraising team from the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity’s side. With greater ability to share our resources and expertise across the Borough of Hillingdon, our merger means that we can become even more efficient in our day-to-day work. By legally merging our operations we are securing the future of Harlington Hospice, and Michael Sobell House, for generations to come.  


As we have become one organisation – one hospice – we knew we needed a way to share this exciting change with our community. To unify of our services across Hillingdon, to reflect our journey to this point and to highlight our shared vision for the future. 

As charities including ours are learning to live with the challenges brought firstly by COVID-19 and now by the rises in the cost of living, we know it’s more important than ever that we stand out when speaking to our wider community.

We know and you know, as our loyal supporters, just how important it is that people facing serious or terminal illness can gain access to the support they need, when and where they need it. We took great care to ensure that our new brand reflects the values that have been, and always will be, at the heart of what we do: being collaborative, responsive, thoughtful and courageous. Through our new look, we hope to bring more of our community alongside us and inspire them to make a kind donation towards our work, or support through volunteering.

We love our new brand and we hope that you do too. Our fresh new colours and distinctive logo stand as symbols of care and hope for people living with serious or terminal illness in our community. A logo that reflects not only one of our initials, but also a comforting hug during a turbulent time.

We know that over the last 47 years, Michael Sobell Hospice has been a home for many in our community living with a serious or terminal illness. A place people can come to in their most vulnerable moments. This is why we are keeping the name of Michael Sobell as a central element of our Inpatient Unit and are returning to our roots by renaming it Michael Sobell House.

But we also know that for many in our community the services we offer do not just take place in the Michael Sobell building. We work across the Borough of Hillingdon and surrounding areas, in people’s homes and online. The Inpatient Unit at Michael Sobell House will now be one of our six key pillars of care alongside: Hospice at Home, Wellbeing, Emotional & Psychological Support, Harlington Care, and Education & Information.

So, we wanted our name to reflect the range of services we offer. We are not only a building in the north of the Borough but a system of care wherever people need us. We feel that the name Harlington Hospice is in a better position to showcase this to those who are not yet familiar with what we do.

Yes. We recognise the unique place that Michael Sobell House holds in many people’s lives and hearts and understand the importance of being able to donate to the House. Now, when you make a donation, you can let us know that you would like the money to support Michael Sobell House.

You can also do this for any of our other services. All our services form a fundamental part of the ethos of choice we strive to create. However, we do encourage donors to make an unrestricted gift wherever possible as this enables us to spend their donation where it is needed most at the time.

No. Our Inpatient Unit, Hospice at Home, Wellbeing, Psychological & Emotional Support, and Education & Information services will continue to support people living with serious or terminal illness, and those close to them.

No. We know that the Inpatient Unit inside Michael Sobell House has a proud and long-standing place in our local community and its doors are firmly open. This merger means we can deliver our care even more efficiently and offer an even broader range of support through our six key pillars of care.

To make sure that our new brand would become a fantastic tool to support us in achieving our aims, we chose to seek help from an external creative agency who have lots of experience in rebranding charities.

The work to create our new look cost less than £20,000; this amount is 0.3% of our total running costs. There have been additional costs to get the new brand out into the public eye including through our printed posters and leaflets, website and shops. Where possible, we timed this additional spend with projects we were already going to undertake this year to ensure the smooth running of our day-to-day operations. No funds that were donated specifically to support Michael Sobell House were used in this process.

Branding is an essential ingredient to the success of any charity and we know that this investment will help us to raise more funds to support people living with serious illness and to achieve our vision.

The Michael Sobell Hospice Charity still exists under the same name and registered charity number. The charity was set up in 1977 with a fundraising purpose to support the running costs of the Inpatient Unit at Michael Sobell House. Any money donated to the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity will continue to achieve this purpose. In addition, supporters can donate to Harlington Hospice and ask for their gift to support the Inpatient Unit and we will be sure to designate their donation according to their wishes. This is the same for any element of our work, with donors able to choose to restrict their gift if they want to. However, we do encourage donors to make an unrestricted gift wherever possible as this enables us to spend their donation where it is needed most at the time.

After the devastating closure of Michael Sobell Hospice in 2018, Harlington Hospice stepped in to provide funding and support to the Inpatient Unit. Working in collaboration, Harlington Hospice took over the management of the clinical team in the Michael Sobell Hospice and helped to establish many of our essential services, including our Wellbeing. In turn the services offered by Harlington Hospice were expanded and made available to people staying at the Michael Sobell Hospice, such as our wide ranging Emotional & Psychological Support. The Fundraising & Communications Team at the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity was also expanded to cover Harlington Hospice.

Over the past few years Harlington Hospice has continued to provide this strength and stability to Michael Sobell Hospice. Moving forward as one organisation – one hospice – our structure had to reflect that. With Harlington Hospice becoming the parent charity and Michael Sobell House the subsidiary.

No. All our services, our Inpatient Unit at Michael Sobell House, Wellbeing, Emotional & Psychological Support, Hospice at Home, Harlington Care, and Education & Information, are essential to the support we offer our community. The merger of the two hospices means we can continue to strengthen and expand our services.
Matron Carol stands with a woman in a blue sari in our gardens at Lansdowne House

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