As our search for worthy winners of the Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards continues, Zinnia Wilkinson explains how physiotherapist Siobhan MacQuillan helped her daughter, India, live well at the end of life 

My 19-year-old daughter died in December, having spent her last seven weeks in St Michael’s Hospice.

Whilst there, we were supported by some extraordinary professionals who could not have done more to ensure that India was loved and cared for in a way which allowed her to retain her dignity and to live her last few weeks to the full.

One of these was physiotherapist Siobhan MacQuillan, whom I would like to nominate for the Dignity in Care Award.

India first met Siobhan in August 2017, 18 months after her original diagnosis.

Driving to the hospice that first time felt terrifying, final and quite frankly miserable, but in contrast to expectation, we were ushered into a lovely building and met by a vibrant, smiling individual who whisked India off to the gym without a backwards glance!

Siobhan’s approach is so patient-centred. She listened to India, recognising her determination to retain physical independence and her need to be seen as an intelligent young adult.

India wanted to ‘seize the day’ and Siobhan responded, weaving Indi’s love of netball into the sessions and developing her balance, co-ordination, reaction levels and strength at a time when, medically, she should have been on the decline. 

In addition, Siobhan arranged for Indi to spend a day at the European Netball Championships, where she met the English and Welsh netball teams, tossed the coin at the start of their match, had one-to-one time with both team captains and was given a signed shirt and netball.

When India was admitted as an inpatient, Siobhan ensured that her physio programme remained full and enriching, thus enabling India to be active and relatively independent until the day she became unconscious.

Moreover, Siobhan encouraged India to take trips out of the hospice, facilitating this by accompanying us and by reassuring me that such forays were essential to India’s wellbeing and fulfilment.

In two years of cancer care, I have met some incredible individuals in the NHS. Amongst these, Siobhan stands out as an extraordinarily proficient, caring and intuitive professional. I will always remember the support she gave India.

Like Siobhan, all St Michael's Hospice staff feel passionate about providing people with the best possible care and this approach to person-centred care is made possible by the unique way the hospice is funded.

To find out more about joining the St Michael's Hospice care team, or finding out how the services they provide can help, visit or call 01432 851000.

Our health and social care awards will be presented in a glitzy ceremony later this year.

Our independent judging panel will sift through your nominations and identify those with the qualities they feel best match the award category criteria.

Join us in applauding those who contribute so much for others in Herefordshire.

To find out how to nominate someone today visit