Future of hospice care to replace St Clare's up for discussion by South Tyneside health chiefs

NHS chiefs could team up with North East hospice bosses to bring dedicated palliative care back to South Tyneside.
The former St. Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.The former St. Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.
The former St. Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.

The borough has been without its own end-of-life service since January 2019, when St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow collapsed into insolvency.

Bosses from South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), are due to debate the findings of an investigation into what could replace the former institution on Thursday September 26,

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Before it was forced into liquidation, the CCG contributed about £800,000 a year to the hospice’s running costs, which ran to more than £2million annually.

But according to the report there is a ‘clear indication that the funding required will be in excess of the available £800,000’ and suggested considering a ‘partnership with a charitable organisation’.

It added: “Given the potential level of funding which may be required, it is likely that a partnership such as the above with an organisation that is able to generate charitable contributions, is the only feasible option for securing the level of funding required.

“Following this agreement informal conversations have now been held with the Chief Executives of the North East hospices to get an initial sounding on the level of interest.”

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At the time of St Clare’s closure, CCG chiefs decided against recommissioning another eight-bed hospice on a ‘like-for-like basis’.

Instead, the report recommends a ‘spoke-and-hub’ model with a greater focus on providing care at home.

And the door has been left open to once again provide inpatient beds, possibly somewhere on the South Tyneside Hospital site.

The report conceded the need for any end of life service to have a ‘physical building within the borough’ was a ‘red line’ for those surveyed during the process.

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But it makes no mention of the possibility of reopening St Clare’s previous base in Primrose Terrace.

The need for stronger governance arrangements in any replacement service were also raised, with the report adding: “The future model clearly needs to learn the lesson from the unfortunate closure of St Clare’s. An issue repeatedly raised throughout the process was the need for the future model to implement robust governance arrangements both to its clinical delivery but also to its wider management responsibilities.”