history

Our History

Rennie Grove Hospice Care was formed in 2011 when two hospice charities joined forces.

Iain Rennie Hospice at Home

Prior to becoming part of Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Iain Rennie Hospice at Home had been providing specialist care for patients in their own home for over 25 years – caring for over 10,000 patients with cancer or other life-limiting illnesses. The charity was named after its first patient, Iain Rennie. Iain was only in his mid-30s and his sons were very young when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Five local nurses joined forces and worked with Iain’s GP and Iain’s wife, Moira, to care for him at home on a 24-hour responsive basis. Moira is now the co-President of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Read more about the history of Iain Rennie Hospice at Home from one of the original nurses, Daphne Vessey.

Hear more about the history of our Retail operation from founder Peggy Bainbridge.

Grove House

Grove House had been supporting people affected by cancer or other life-limiting illnesses in St Albans since the early 1980s when a deep concern was developing about the inadequate provision to meet the needs of terminally ill patients in the district. Doctor Mary Groves, a GP new to St Albans was instrumental in establishing the first St Albans and City and District Hospice Care Team, with the aim of providing specialist Macmillan Nurses for the area. In 1992, the late Lord Robert Runcie led an appeal aimed at raising one million pounds to fund a purpose built hospice building. The doors opened to the first patients in 1994 and the service which is now so well known in the area was born. Dr Groves is the co-President of Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Read more about the history of Grove House in a booklet by co-founder Dr. Mary Groves.

Shared values

The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned: each believed that patients should be able to lead a good quality life at home for as long as possible – if that was their choice. They wanted to help patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits wherever possible and worked with other healthcare professionals with this goal always in mind.

Patient-focused

Both charities supported local patients and their families to achieve this by offering services such as symptom control and coping strategies in Day Hospice and pain relief and palliative care through responsive Hospice at Home visits any time of the day or night. By working with Iain Rennie, Grove House was able to extend that model of Hospice at Home care further into Hertfordshire and give more patients and their families access to round-the-clock visits and support.

Rennie Grove Hospice Care

Following clinical integration in April 2010 – both hospices having been overseen by one Director of Nursing and Clinical Services for seven years prior to that – we merged fully the following year and in April 2013 were renamed Rennie Grove Hospice Care.