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As senior anaesthetist at the Bournemouth and East Dorset Group of Hospitals, Ronnie Fisher persuaded the local health authority to bear the costs of operating a facility for terminally ill patients with cancer if public support could build and equip it. He raised most of the funds locally, with one third from the National Society for Cancer Relief (now Macmillan Cancer Relief), and the first NHS palliative care service opened at Christchurch Hospital in 1975. Ronnie also pioneered the first NHS home care service for patients with cancer—now the Macmillan Nursing Service—and introduced the first NHS day care unit in 1977. In retirement, he cowrote three books on palliative care in cancer, and introduced such care worldwide. He leaves a wife, Binnie, and two daughters.
Founder of hospice care in the NHS (b 1917; Cambridge/Middlesex 1943; FFARCS, JP, Arctic Star), d 15 August 2007.