MANY doctors and nurses are rightly celebrated as lifesavers and something of medical ‘magicians’, capable of curing all manner of health conditions.

The role of palliative care staff focuses not on curing or fixing the cause of patients’ problems, but on making them as comfortable and prepared as possible as they cope with terminal illness.

Sobell House Hospice in Headington provides a valued range of palliative and end-of-life care services, and yesterday its ward staff were treated to a tea party to mark the NHS milestone.

Jane Stickland, locum consultant in palliative medicine at Sobell, said the hospice and its staff were ‘very much part of the NHS’.

She added: “We are very fortunate to live in a place and time where healthcare is considered a universal right and available based on need rather than ability to pay.

“I feel hugely privileged to work with patients and loved ones at the most difficult times of their lives.

“I hope we make a positive impact by improving symptoms and providing much needed support.

“The additional funding we receive from Sobell House Hospice Charity, which comes from the generous donations of the people of Oxfordshire, enables us to provide many additional services for the benefit of our patients.”

Clinical staff enjoyed a Come4Tea party, a fundraising initiative of Sobell’s encouraging people to raise money with a tasty spread.

The expanding hospice, which is based at the Churchill Hospital site, is jointly funded by Sobell’s own charity and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The charity funds valued services for patients and their loved ones, such as art and music therapy, bereavement counselling, access to social workers and free transport to Sobell’s day centre.