Dr Des Murphy, who was instrumental in setting up hospice care on the Isle of Wight, has been recognised by Isle of Wight Council.

At an extraordinary meeting of the local authority, councillors voted unanimously to confer the honour of Freedom of the Isle of Wight on the retired consultant. 

Dr Murphy joins just three other individuals in receiving the Island’s freedom – including Oscar-winning film director Antony Minghella, record-breaking yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, Hovertravel founder Christopher Bland, and aviator Mary Ellis. The Isle of Wight Rifles regiment also received the freedom in 2015.

Dr Murphy, Consultant Respiratory Physician who moved to the Island in 1981, was at the forefront of the creation and development of the hospice – and helped lead its expansion into the much valued and praised facility that it is today. 

Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten Isle of Wight chief executive, said: “We cannot underestimate the importance of Dr Murphy’s work for people on the Isle of Wight. He, along with others, worked so hard to set up the hospice during the 1980s.  

“His values and his determination to provide the best possible end of life care on the Island is something we still carry with us today as we support the community around death, dying and bereavement. Huge congratulations to Dr Murphy!

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Dave Stewart, IW Council Leader, said: "Desmond Murphy really is one of the hearts behind the hospice, which is in the heart of the Island. When the proposal came forward, I thought that was an excellent idea and that is the kind of thing we want to share with the Island."

You can read more about Mountbatten's history by visiting the Mountbatten Memories website.