Hospice founder to be recognised A doctor who played a leading role in founding and developing Mountbatten Hospice, formerly known as Earl Mountbatten House and latterly as Earl Mountbatten Hospice, at Newport is being recommended to receive the Freedom of the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight Council is holding an extraordinary meeting on 13 March to confer the honour on Dr Desmond Murphy for his dedication to improving end of life care for Island residents. Dr Murphy will join an elite group of individuals to receive 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. “We are privileged and delighted to be recommending Dr Murphy for the freedom of the Island. His contribution to the care of Island residents and their families at such a sensitive time in their lives has been immeasurable,” said council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart. “We are honoured to be able to recognise his dedication and work on behalf of the people of the Island over many years.” 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. “This is a fitting honour for Dr Murphy and on behalf of everyone at Mountbatten, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to him.” You can read more about Mountbatten's history by visiting the Mountbatten Memories website.