Calls for people to make their voices heard over future of end of life care in South Tyneside

‘You don’t even need to get off your backside’ to help, says a campaigner calling for end of life care to return to Jarrow.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 5:24 pm
Kay Smith and campaigners at the former St Clare's Hospice in Jarrow.

Earlier this month Kay Smith launched a ‘last ditch’ attempt to see the former site of St Clare’s Hospice reopen its doors to patients once more.

And according to the former nurse there is little reason for anyone who cares about the issue not to get involved, as they can do so from the comfort of their own sofa.

“The more people who get in touch [with NHS bosses], who get involved, the better – keep it in the forefront of their minds,” she said.

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“Send an email, tell them you want palliative care back at Jarrow, tell them why, tell them your stories.

“The more people who write in, the more chance there is of getting them to bring it back.”

Kay, who has been encouraging families to write to decision-makers with reasons to reopen St Clare’s, was at the former hospice site today (Tuesday, August 18) with other campaigners, including Jarrow MP Kate Osborne.

South Tyneside has been without a dedicated facility for end of life care since the closure of St Clare’s Hospice last year.

NHS chiefs at South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had been due to unveil plans for its replacement earlier this year, but a final decision has been pushed back to September due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A ‘spoke and hub’ model, with hospice-style care available in a new facility, possibly at or near South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, is among the schemes being considered.

CCG bosses have insisted they are ‘working hard to develop the best possible range of services within the resources we have available’.

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