Hilary was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1933 and was educated at Orme Girls’ School where she became Head Girl in due course.
She then undertook adult nurse training at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham from 1951 – 1955 and was awarded a Gold Medal. She qualified as a midwife in 1956.
In 1958 she was employed as ward sister at the Midland Nerve Hospital, Birmingham prior to getting married.
Following a break of 12 years during which time she brought up a family of three children, she returned to nursing in 1970. Hilary's nursing career restarted with two years as a Sister on a medical ward in Hemel Hempstead. She then progressed to nurse management, first as nurse manager of a medical and coronary unit at Mount Vernon Hospital for seven years, then as Senior Nursing Officer at Hillingdon Hospital. Her career then turned to district nursing where her role covered quality and nursing practice throughout Hillingdon, Harefield, and Mount Vernon Hospitals.
In 1988 Hilary was appointed to the post of Matron at The Hospice of St. Francis, one year after the opening of the inpatient unit. She worked with the Medical Director, Dr Nell O’Connor, helping establish the Hospice ethos throughout the District; whilst convincing NHS clinical teams that the service provided by St. Francis would enhance clinical palliative care and practice.
During her employment at the Hospice, she was invited to become Trustee of Kenton Grange, Harrow. This 10-year tenure included membership of the project board in planning a new 16-bed in-patient unit and extended community services, which was officially opened by the Queen in ????.
1990 saw Hilary elected founder member of the North West Thames Region of the inaugural National Council for Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Services. She later became Vice-Chairman of the Council, which provided a single voice to government for the first time. She then undertook a review and advisory report on services for the elderly and terminally ill in the British Virgin Isles – an enterprise initiated by an Overseas Aid scheme.
For ten years Hilary was a Trustee of the national charity Help the Hospices (now Hospice UK), founded by the Duchess of Norfolk. During this period she chaired several committees and became Vice President in early 2000.
On her retirement from The Hospice of St. Francis in 1994, Hilary was invited to become a Trustee of the Hospice, which she did for seven years, including membership of the Project Board for the new Unit and Clinical Committee.
Now, in 2019, Hilary continues to participate on the Cleanliness Audit Committee, as Associate Member and Patron.