Dr Paul Cuthbertson, Chairman of Wirral Hospice St John’s Board of Trustees, has been awarded a very well-deserved MBE in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to palliative care in Wirral.
Dr Cuthbertson has given selfless service to the Wirral community and to the wider cause of specialist palliative care. Having qualified as a doctor in 1965, he worked for many decades in Greasby Group Practise and was admired by staff and patients alike. He retired from general practice in April 2010. However, he is remembered by Practise Manager, Fiona Doyle, as ‘a great leader of people who has integrity and charm in abundance’ and by Dr Phillipa Coppack, who worked with him for over 20 years as ‘a wonderful person to work with’.
It was in the 1970s that Dr Cuthbertson recognised the need for a specialist palliative care service in Wirral through his experience of dealing with terminally ill cancer patients in his own Wirral GP practice. He became a founding member of a 1980 working party to raise funds to build a hospice in Wirral, which resulted in the opening of Wirral Hospice St John’s in 1983.
The result of his work has benefited countless past and present patients and relatives and nearly every family in Wirral will know someone who has found comfort at Wirral Hospice St John’s.
Dr Cuthbertson has had over 30 years continuous service at Wirral Hospice and has been personally involved in the development of the hospice at every stage.
During the 80s, he held a salaried post as a doctor, a key member of the Hospice’s clinical team, often doing voluntary ‘on call’ during evenings and weekends. He was invited onto the Board of Trustees and has been an inspirational Chairman for the past 16 years.
Under Dr Cuthbertson’s leadership, our Hospice has grown and become a centre of clinical excellence with outstanding Care Quality Commission Inspection Reports.
Dr Cuthbertson is outstanding in the way in which he has used his motivation, enthusiasm, intelligence, clinical knowledge and experience and, above all, his free time to make a real difference to the people of Wirral facing cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, and their families.
He has recently supported the Board at Wirral Hospice St John’s to implement our new Hospice at Home pilot service, whereby any patients needing end-of-life care who wish to be in their own homes at that time can still receive specialist palliative care.
Dr Cuthbertson MBE, MRCS Eng, LRCP, stands out as an exceptionally caring man who makes time for everyone and everything in spite of having so many commitments. His managerial skills, time management and prioritising, enable Dr Cuthbertson to fit more into his life than most and he stands out from others in his choice to spend a large proportion of his life in the service of the Wirral community and the cause of palliative care.
Please join us in proudly congratulating a man who has made a huge difference to our Hospice’s work, and will continue to do so for many more years we’re sure!