In the mid 1980s, Peter Tebbit was taking a break from his high-powered and challenging role in University administration, when he saw an advert for an Administrator at St Richard’s. The hospice has recently moved to Castle Street but was still being run by committee members and volunteers in their spare time. Peter’s job was to turn St Richard’s into a professional organisation and enable it to develop its services. He had a hand in everything, from managing the day to day administration, to collecting data on the hospice’s activities, attracting charitable funding, developing future policies and even fundraising on the Malvern Hills! Peter was instrumental in securing the funds for the purchase of Rose Hill and became an ardent supporter of St Richard’s education programme. Peter was inspired by his work at St Richard’s which he says ‘taught him a great many things that he wanted to use in a wider capacity’ so in 1997 he left the hospice to work for the National Council for Palliative Care on a new national policy.
Peter’s first job on leaving university had been in hospital administration so although he’d never worked in palliative care, he felt confident in running the embryonic St Richard’s in 1987. He joined a small team of staff and volunteers and in his first few months was responsible for two important decisions which made a big impact on the organisation; the appointment of Sheila Gilbert and the installation of the first Amstrad computer.
By the time St Richard’s moved to Rose Hill in 1991, the team had grown hugely and now included 5 nurses, a social worker, 2 part time doctors and 2 educational nurse practitioners. St Richard’s had a growing reputation, and hospices in general were becoming more appreciated and valued by other NHS services. In this next extract, Peter talks about another area of expansion… into commercial activities.
Peter spent 10 years as the administrator at St Richard’s.By the time he was ready to move in 1997, the hospice was well settled at Rose Hill, had established a successful education programme and offered patients a wide array of services. In this final extract, Peter talks about the next stage of his career, one that he couldn’t have made without the insights he gained at St Richard’s.