A St Albans doctor who was the driving force behind Grove House Hospice has been made an MBE.

Mary Groves, who the hospice is named after, has been given the title as part of the Queens’ Birthday Honours List.

The 81-year-old said: "It was a total surprise and I feel very honoured. I am quite humbled.

"All I’ve done is seen something that needed doing and I’ve had the energy to do it."

Prior to setting up the hospice, she was a partner at Midway Surgery in St Albans.

The idea of setting up a hospice care service came after one of Dr Groves’ patients was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the late 70s.

She said: "I supported her as best I could. She had children the same age as mine.

"I got deeply involved with the family.

"The help I could give as a GP was quite inadequate. People need more than that."

It started as a remote service as it grew the charity grew they set up a site in St Albans.

As the hospice service grew Dr Groves gave her position at the surgery to focus on the new project.

She said: "I loved working there but I found I couldn’t do both.

"The hospice work really had to be a priority.

"I found it very hard. I loved being a GP."

During her career Dr Groves has also worked with and supported a number of different charities.

Inspired by her work at Grove House, she set up the St Albans and District Bereavement Network, which supports grieving people in the area.

She still works closely with the charity but takes a less active role as patron.

Dr Groves said: "It is my Christian calling to go and try it.

"I just feel very thankful that I’ve been able to do all these different things."