MP calls on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to intervene over St Clare's Hospice amid campaign to reopen centre

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne has taken the fight to reopen the former St Clare’s hospice directly to the heart of Government.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 6:00 am
Kate Osborne

She has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock urging him to reinstate the end-of-life care service, which shut in January 2019.

She also requests a meeting with him to discuss the centre’s possible reopening.

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Despite a 13,500-name petition to reopen St Clare’s, local health chiefs are expected to advocate a different model of service, based in South Shields.

Her letter states: “The closure of St Clare’s was a sad moment for many people in our community, from the staff to the many local people who had supported the hospice over the years.

“I know from meeting people across the constituency just how much St Clare’s was valued across the local community.

“There is a strong level of public feeling behind the restoration of palliative care at Primrose Hill.”

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Ms Osborne told Mr Hancock her favoured outcome is reopening St Clare’s at its former Primrose site.

She adds: “The people of the Jarrow constituency deserve to have a real choice of either home palliative care or hospice palliative care.

“I strongly believe that the new palliative care provision needs to be the correct model to give the best possible care to the people of South Tyneside and their families and I see no reason why a new palliative care model for the area cannot be situated at the existing building.

“I would like to request a meeting with you in Parliament to discuss this matter further. I look forward to your reply.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Following the closure of St Clare's Hospice, arrangements were put in place to ensure that patients could access high quality services with hospices in neighbouring areas, and with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.

“Over the last 12 months, local commissioners have been exploring options for new palliative care services, including a new model with a greater focus on community services.”

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