‘Its loss is a huge blow to our local community’ - MP’s bid to secure services after shock closure of St Clare’s Hospice

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has met with the Health Minister to discuss the closure of St Clare’s Hospice and the future of palliative care in the borough.

Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 9:27 am
Stephen Hepburn MP meeting with Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care, Caroline Dinenage

The meeting was arranged after Mr Hepburn called on the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to step in to the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions - following the shock announcement that St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow had closed last month.

The Labour MP, who spoke directly with the hospice’s chief executive Paul Jones-King on the evening of the closure, says he immediately wrote to the Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care, Caroline Dinenage, urging her to offer immediate assistance.

He said: “The meeting with the health minister was very productive and she has agreed to look into this issue further and contact me again in due course.

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“Prior to this, I’ve already held talks with the chief executive of St Clare’s, the chief executive of South Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and the chief executive of Hospice UK to see what can be done to secure and ensure health care for the terminally ill in this area.”

St Clare’s has provided a vital service for our local community for three decades and its loss is a huge blow to our local community.”

St Clare’s Hospice opened in 1987 and has been delivering in-patient services, counselling and well-being day services to adults living with life-limiting illnesses and their families for the past 30 years.

The independently-run hospice had annual operating costs of £2.2m and usually raises £1.8m each year through voluntary giving, with the balance coming from the contracts with the South Tyneside (CCG).