The Dorothy House Foundation was set up in 1976, based at the Bath home of its founder Prue Dufour ( formerly Clench). A woman of vision, determination and deep faith, she saw a need for care of terminally ill patients in their community, rather than in hospital.
Inspired by the example of St Christopher's Hospice - which had been set up in London nine years earlier by Dame Cicely Saunders - Prue drew together a small team of nurses who supported people at home. She chose the name Dorothy House for the charity as a reflection of her Christian faith - Dorothy means 'gift of God' .In 1979, Dorothy House opened its first In-Patient Unit for six people at 162 Bloomfield Road, Bath.
The next door property at 164 was acquired in 1980 and used as the Education and Administration Centre. In 1985 Day Care was opened providing friendship, caring and laughter for 10 patients for two sessions a week.
As awareness increased and the value of hospice care became more widely recognised 166 Bloomfield Rd was bought and converted into one unit with 164. As a result, the original house was sold.
By 1990 the team at Dorothy House was truly multi-professional, involving nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, lymphoedema specialists, chaplain, pharmacy and support staff, including large numbers of volunteers.
The building in Bloomfield Road was by now bursting at the seams, and in 1995 the move to Winsley took place.
The premises are spacious, with purpose- built In-Patient facilities and beautiful grounds, and the range of services has expanded - but the fundamental approach to care has hardly changed since those early days, back in the 1970's.