The History Of South Coast Hospice


Cicely Saunders, doyenne of the modern international Hospice movement, brought the concept to South Africa during her 1979 lecture tour. In 1982, The Hospice Association of Natal was formed with Highway Hospice in Durban as its only branch.

  • 1983 - South Coast Hospice was established in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal, focusing on a Home Care program for terminally ill people living between Mtwalume in the north to Port Edward in the South and as far inland as Harding, in total 6,505 sq. kilometres. The population of the UGU District is 704,141, representing 8% of the population of KwaZulu-Natal. (2002 mid year projections of the 1996 census). The first homecare patient was visited in June 1983 in Umtentweni. South Coast hospice started its liaison with the Hospice Association of KwaZulu Natal (HAKZN)

  • 1984 –Compiled and delivered 2x9 week training courses in Port Shepstone and Uvongo. Care co-ordinator (Professional Nurse), Medical Director, (GP), and Bereavement Group Leader (Social Worker) were involved from inception. Much support and encouragement was received from Hospice Association of Natal (HAN), now known as HAKZN, and Highway Hospice.

  • 1985 –Held the first Annual General meeting (AGM) – a total of 63 patients cared for. Same uniforms were introduced for Professional nurses and lay caregivers. This year also saw the start of the Rural Outreach Programme by sending Nurses and caregivers out on foot. A Training course for care workers was conducted at the Murchison hospital.

  • 1986 –First newsletter was published. Fundraising became an organised reality with a separate team. First South Coast Hospice office opened and Day Care commenced from small premises donated by a Port Shepstone General Practitioner, (Dr. Joffe) The Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) was also formed in this year

  • 1987 -The service was expanded with the introduction of a Rural Outreach program to provide holistic pain and symptom control to terminally ill people living in the outlying rural areas. South Coast Hospice worked closely with Primary Health Care clinics, by empowering primary health care nurses with Palliative Nursing Skills and providing them with ongoing training and backup. Hosted first HAN mini conference.

  • 1988 –Palliative Care Clinic offered one afternoon a week in Port Shepstone Hospital Physiotherapy Department. Hospice Doctor authorised to prescribe on Hospital Forms. Hospice Patient’s no longer needed to queue in Outpatients’ department. The Margate Centre was opened.

  • 1989 –Acquisition of Connor Street Property. South Coast Hospice cared for the second highest number of patients in Natal. A separate bereavement team was also founded in this year to care for families after the death of a loved one.

  • 1990 –Training course at Gamalakhe Primary Health Care Clinic and birth of the Rural Outreach Homecare Programme for terminally ill patients in the townships and cared for 225 patients.

  • 1991 –Traumatic year with the breakaway by the Margate Leader and a large number of her followers necessitating the closure of the Margate Centre. For the First time the majority of patients referred to South Coast Hospice was Black.

  • 1992 –First Aids patient cared for at home. In liaison with the National Peace Accord Trust, the South Coast Hospice Trauma Support Network was established in response to the violence associated with political unrest. Volunteers from the community were trained jointly by South Coast Hospice and the National Peace Accord Trust to debrief and empower victims of violence so as to facilitate as normal a grieving process as possible. Until the early nineties more than 90% of patients were referred with advanced malignancies. Since then the number of HIV+ patients has steadily superseded cancer as the predominant diagnosis and currently people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) account for approximately 95% of the total patient population. The South African Nursing Council (SANC) officially recognised the HPCA short course in palliative nursing

  • 1993 –Hosted the HAN conference in celebration of our tenth anniversary with the Chairman of the Hospice Association of South Africa (HASA) as keynote speaker.

  • 1994 -Kingfisher House, our In-patient unit was opened on the 01 November 1994. Over 50 admissions from all sectors of the community during the first 6 months. Patients are admitted for short periods only for symptom control, respite and terminal care. (28 deaths during this period)

  • 1996 -In response to the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic, South Coast Hospice developed the Integrated Community-Based Home Care (ICHC) model which offers people living with HIV/AIDS the option of remaining at home during their illness. This model, involves close co-operation between Hospitals, Primary Health Care Clinics, Hospice and the community. The RHC model has been so successful that it has been piloted in seven other areas in South Africa under the auspices of a tender awarded to the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) by the Department of Health, and has also been written up by them in their “Best Practice” report series.

  • 1997 – The ICHC model was implemented. Kingfisher House was extended to accommodate 7 beds. South Coast hospice was invited and attended the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Conference and the Twinning with Rowcroft Hospice, Torquay, UK was established.

  • 1998 –The official opening of the Mike Nothard Curiosity shop was held on the 13 February 1998 and was opened by Mrs. Joan Nothard, wife of Mr. Mike Nothard. Kingfisher House was extended and officially opened on the 29 July 1998. Property next door was acquired and was to be used as a Training Centre.

  • 1999 -South Coast Hospice awarded a two-year tender by the National Department of Health, to establish Port Shepstone as a pilot site for HIV/AIDS/TB/STD research. South Coast hospice Training deportment opened. South Coast hospice was included in the US Aids/Hospice professional tour of Community Hospice in New York where. the Community Hospice and South coast hospice partnership was formed.

  • 2000 -The “Memory Box Project” was introduced through funding sourced from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Had a visit from the World Health organisation (WHO). A second hand shop was opened at the Port Shepstone mall as an income generator

  • 2001 -The specialized Children’s RHC team was established through funding sourced from the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. South Coast Hospice was nominated as “Centre of Excellence” by the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 2001 -Accredited by the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) and found to comply with clinical standards of care. South Coast hospice was nominated as a Centre of Excellence by the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa, Inc./Health Research and Service Administration (FHSSA/HRSA).

  • 2002 -Won the Impumelelo Gold award for excellence and dedication in the fields of poverty alleviation and community development.

  • 2002 -RHC was adopted by HPCA as their model for home-based care and as such forms the core component of the HPCA mentorship programme

  • 2002 -SOUTH COAST HOSPICE Training Centre officially opened, (sponsored by The Community Care Centres). The reception office was built and officially opened. The Haven of Peace (Chapel) was built and donated by the Gonzalves Family.

  • 2003 -RHC has featured in a number of prominent publications, including “Home based HIV/AIDS care”, edited by Uys and Cameron; published by Oxford University Press.

  • 2004 -SOUTH COAST HOSPICE selected as a Centre for Palliative Learning by HPCA.

  • 2004 -As an Enhancing Care Initiative Site (ECI) (a global site of the Harvard AIDS Institute), SOUTH COAST HOSPICE is currently involved in the promotion of RHC at 12 Provincial sites via an award to the KwaZulu-Natal grant from the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM).

  • 2004 -in conjunction with the University of Natal and the ECI, compiled and piloted a paediatric palliative care course at community level, this has now been made available to HPCA

  • 2004 -SOUTH COAST HOSPICE Training Division received full accreditation from the Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority (HWSETA).

  • 2004/5 -In conjunction with Save the Children UK, SOUTH COAST HOSPICE developed a course for trained community caregivers incorporating Anti Retroviral support into home-based care. This has been made available to the National Department of Health.

  • 2004 –In November 2004, SOUTH COAST HOSPICE underwent an initial comprehensive survey by the Council of Health Services Accreditation (Cohsasa) in conjunction with HPCA.

  • 2005 -Building and opening of the SOUTH COAST HOSPICE (Kath Defilippi) Resource Centre, sponsored by Community Care Centres, an indispensable adjunct to the Training division.

  • 2006 –Received full Cohsasa Accreditation after a comprehensive survey

  • 2007 –Signed a memorandum of agreement with the Murchison Hospital and Started the Murchison Team in conjunction with the Murchison Hospital ARV Clinic for our HIV/Aids infected patients.

  • 2008 –SOUTH COAST HOSPICE Training Division received re-accreditation from HWSETA, effectively enabling SOUTH COAST HOSPICE to continue to provide learners with a nationally recognised certificate.

  • 2008 –Cohsasa Accreditation survey was conducted. SOUTH COAST HOSPICE was successfully re-accredited for a further three years. A final result of 99.46% was achieved)

  • 2009 – SOUTH COAST HOSPICE received funding from the DG Murray trust to establish a second Children’s team for our Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Programme

  • 2010 – SOUTH COAST HOSPICE was again reaccredited by HWSETA as a Training site

  • 2011 – South Coast hospice was re accredited by Cohsasa for the 3rd time as a five star Hospice. Our wall of remembrance was created by the kind donation of the Southern Natal Nomads. South Coast Hospice also initiated the establishment of the Ugu Health Forum

  • 2012 –The growing number of children needing care led to the third Children’s team being established. A successful collaboration of partners through the Ugu Health Forum lead to an ongoing drive on the rising numbers of untreated people living with TB.

  • 2013 – We celebrated the 30th Anniversary of South Coast Hospice at our Annual General meeting and Founder, Kath Defilippi, was honoured talk by Dr. Horsley our Palliative Medical Board Director. A very successful partnership with Murchison hospital and Department of Health was established in the MDR-TB programme for the care and support released back to their homes.

  • 2014 – In May 2014 South Coast Hospice partnered with the Dept. of Health and 4 primary Health care clinics, (Marburg, Murchison, Margate and Gamalakhe) to assist with service delivery in the overburdened clinics to dispense ARVs and TB –MDR/TB medications to well patients as well as assist with medical examinations (Pap Smears) of women with HIV for early detection of cervical cancer. The Mobile team consists of a professional nurse and a caregiver and provide a holistic palliative care approach to all patients seen at the Mobile Clinic and refer to the interdisciplinary team for other interventions such as grants, counselling etc.

  • 2015 – With the successful roll out of ARV treatment to people living with HIV, South Coast Hospice re-models to align with a constraint income budget, the decrease in donor funding for HIV/AIDS, in order to ensure sustainability for Palliative Care services in the community, both rural and urban.

    The Palliative Care Flag Flying High through the South Coast Hospice Palliative Care Centre.

  • 2016 – Through Broadreach Health Services SCH provided HIV testing services to 85 Primary Healthcare clinics in the UGU region.  Through this very successful project the youth project #Ya2i was born concentrating on the youth, encouraging HIV testing and healthy lifestyles among the youth.

    2017 – Adherence counselling and the formation of adherence clubs for people living in the UGU region who are on chronic medication through funding received by Khethimpilo and The Global Fund. The establishment of our CCMDD for the distribution of medication through Medipost.