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Our history

Combining our strengths and expanding our services

In December 2022 Harlington Hospice and the Michael Sobell Hospice legally merged our operations, operating formally as a new unified hospice in April 2023, under the name Harlington Hospice. 

Whilst looking to our future, we have also returned to our roots and re-named the Michael Sobell Hospice as Michael Sobell House. 

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, that make up our essential hospice services. This increase in resources and expertise means we can be there for generations to come, supporting people to shape their own care. Our combined 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. 

Key moments in our story

4th April 2018

Harlington Hospice with Michael Sobell House.

Harlington Hospice and Michael Sobell House officially announce their merger and begin operating as one hospice, Harlington Hospice. Strengthening our resources and expanding the services we offer our community.

The Inpatient Unit goes back to its roots and is once again named Michael Sobell House. 

Our new branding is launched, to reflect the values that have been, and always will be, at the heart of what we do: being collaborative, responsive, thoughtful and courageous.


December 2022

Harlington Hospice and the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity legally merge operations.

The dedicated clinical teams from Harlington Hospice, and experienced fundraising team from the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity are joined together.

Today, we’re here for people in our community living alongside serious or terminal illness, however they wish to be supported 

Learn more about our merger


CABS Team launches research project on young people, neurodiversity and grief.

Their research looks at the importance of adapting service provision for the needs of neurodiverse clients to address existing health inequalities; challenging misconceptions of neurodiverse grief; and developing greater training for the professional therapist community. 

Their research poster won the Hospice UK Conference poster exhibition.

Learn more about our research project

April 2021

Charity shop collaboration.

Harlington Hospice, the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity, and Age UK Hillingdon, Harrow, and Brent charity shops establish a three way partnership to manage their shops. 

January 2020

The Michael Sobell Hospice Inpatient Unit reopens.

The Inpatient Unit changes its name from Michael Sobell House to the Michael Sobell Hospice. 

The doors of our Inpatient Unit open once again and the first person was admitted shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

December 2019

New clinical partnership is formed between Harlington Hospice and the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity.

Harlington Hospice worked hard to negotiate contracts with the Clinical Commissioning Group and provided the necessary clinical and administrative processes and procedures needed to operate and open the Inpatient Unit.

The Friends of Michael Sobell House change the charity's name to the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity.

The two charities publicly announce the reopening of the Inpatient Unit.

August 2018

Ripples of sadness are felt across Hillingdon at the closure of Michael Sobell House.

Following a passionate campaign by our local community, including Terry Dean and Dr Elaine Laycock, a commitment from the Friends of Michael Sobell House to fund the refurbishment, and a new clinical partnership with Harlington Hospice it was agreed the Inpatient Unit could re-open.

Michael Sobell House

Michael Sobell House is forced to close.

The Inpatient Unit was sadly closed due to major changes with our clinical provider, East & North Herts Hospital NHS Trust. There was also an increasing awareness that the Hospice building was in need of refurbishment in order to offer the best possible environment for people with serious or terminal illness and those close to them.

June 2018

Michael Sobell House supports hospice care provision in Serbia.

The first palliative care centre is opened in Serbia through the support of Dr Elaine Laycock, Princess Katherine of Serbia, and a group of doctors and nurses from Michael Sobell House. Princess Katherine refers to Michael Sobell House as the ‘Mother hospice for Serbia’.


The Friends of Michael Sobell House.

The Friends of Michael Sobell House is registered as the official charity for Michael Sobell House. 


The Sobell Bridge Club is founded.

A group of 30 people establish a community fundraising group called The Sobell Bridge Club. They aim to provide a social space through Bridge playing, especially for those who have been bereaved, and to fundraise for our Inpatient Unit.

learn more about the groupMay 1992

Our first sponsored walk takes place.

One of the GPs at Michael Sobell House, Dr Elaine Laycock, organises our first sponsored walk. Kickstarting our many years of successful fundraising activities.

Learn more about our current fundraising events1984

Day Therapy Unit is opened.

We expanded the care we offer our community and our Day Therapy Unit was opened by Dr Robert Runice, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Our Day Therapy Unit offered complementary therapies and support groups. An important space for our community it helped people to see that hospice care is more than just about supporting medical symptoms or end of life care.

learn more about our serviceJuly 1982

Michael Sobell House is founded.

With funding from the NHS, Sir Michael Sobell, and our community we established the first specialist palliative care unit in the London Borough of Hillingdon, Michael Sobell House.

The first person was admitted to our Inpatient Unit in Northwood on 14th February. With clinical services provided by the local Hospital Trust (now known as East & North Herts Hospital NHS Trust).

Learn more about our service 14th February 1977

Plans to build Michael Sobell House begin.

A chance meeting in 1972 between Dr Alistair Laing, Consultant Radiotherapist and Dr Eric Hughes of the National Society for Cancer Relief (NSCR, latterly Macmillan), resulted in a report confirming the need for specialist palliative care for people living with a terminal illness.

The President of the NSCR, Sir Michael Sobell, was impressed by the report and decided to personally provide £1 million to help support the building of the hospice.


Harlington Hospice

Harlington Hospice hears about the Michael Sobell House closure.

Whilst looking to expand our services and build an Inpatient Unit at Lansdowne House, Harlington Hospice became aware of the closure of Michael Sobell House. And recognised an opportunity for both charities.

June 2018

Child & Adolescenet Bereavement Service is launched.

Our new service working alongside children, young people, and families who are navigating illness, death, and grief is established.

Learn more about our service2016

Dementia Service is launched.

Our specialist dementia service is launched, offering support in small groups.


Harlington Care is launched.

Our Harlington Care service was started to support people in their own home who are living with diverse health and social care needs. And who are not in their last weeks or days of life.

Learn more about our service2014

Lansdowne House is extended and refurbished.

Lansdowne House was refurbished and extended to include the Reg Hopkins Centre. The Reg Hopkins Centre was opened on 3rd May 2012 by Paul Hopkins in memory of his father, Reg. Reg and Mary Hopkins MBE were the founders of Harlington Hospice.

Built around complementary therapies and group activities, our centre offered a larger social space for our Day Care Service and respite support.

May 2012

The Friends of Harlington Hospice is created.

Volunteers at Harlington Hospice establish a community fundraising group called The Friends of Harlington Hospice. They aim to provide items not readily available from our main sources of funding and to offer a supportive and friendly community space, especially for those who have been bereaved. 

Learn more about the group2007

Hospice at Home is launched.

Our Hospice at Home Team support people at home in their last weeks and days of life. Supporting people to be in a place that is comfortable and safe for them has always been one of our top priorities.

Our compassionate Registered Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and Referral Coordinators work closely with GPs, District Nurses and other community services so we can offer the right at home support, at the right time.

learn more about our service2003

Lymphoedema Clinic is launched.

Our Lymphoedema Clinic, based at Lansdowne House, supports people to manage the condition so they can continue living their lives in a way that is meaningful to them. 

Learn more about our serviceAugust 2002

Harlington Hospice Association Ltd.

Harlington Hospice Association Limited is registered as the official charity for Harlington Hospice.


Harlington Hospice is founded.

Reg and Mary Hopkins MBE had a vision to make the end of life for local people more comfortable and peaceful. This vision, which became Harlington Hospice, was initially brought to life by the dedication and commitment of a small group of volunteers. They worked out of their homes to raise funds and establish a volunteer run end of life service in Harlington and Hayes.

But the service quickly grew and it became apparent that a physical site was needed. This was first set up in Victoria Lane and was subsequently expanded to a building behind the doctors surgery in Lansdowne House in St Peters Way. When the charity bought the whole St Peters Way site, the future of Harlington Hospice was secured.

Matron Carol stands with a woman in a blue sari in our gardens at Lansdowne House

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