New bosses take over running of St Clare's Hospice following report by health watchdogs

St Clare's Hospice Senior Leadership team (L-R) Paul Jones-King, Nicola Haggen, Sandra Britten and Vicky Dale.
St Clare's Hospice Senior Leadership team (L-R) Paul Jones-King, Nicola Haggen, Sandra Britten and Vicky Dale.

South Tyneside's only hospice has appointed a new senior leadership team following its reopening after a damning report by health watchdogs.

St Clare's hospice, based on Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, was graded as inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), following an unannounced visit by inspectors in September.

Jill Somerville, clinical sister, Angela Back, clinical sister, Paul Jones-King, chief executive, Annette Scott, clinical sister, and Ashleigh Walton, senior clinical sister.

Jill Somerville, clinical sister, Angela Back, clinical sister, Paul Jones-King, chief executive, Annette Scott, clinical sister, and Ashleigh Walton, senior clinical sister.

The report led the hospice to shut down its services after the watchdog raised concerns including issues over staff training, handling of medicine and its leadership and governance.

Despite this the hospice's care was graded as good.

The hospice fully reopened earlier this month and now three new members of the senior leadership team have been appointed to work alongside chief executive Paul Jones-King.
The new team has been appointed in a bid to ensure quality care services are provided in South Tyneside.

Nicola Haggan has been appointed as deputy chief executive, Sandra Britten, is director of information governance and Vicky Dale if director of finance and business development.

In addition, three new members of the hospice’s board of trustees have been welcomed to the team, including chair of the board Tracey Woodall, who has over eight years’ experience of hospice senior management.

The team will also be joined by John Sheridan, who brings with him extensive palliative care experience and Susan Wear, an independent business advisor.

The board and the new senior leadership team will work together to ensure that high standards of quality care and governance are upheld.

Paul Jones-King, chief executive at St Clare’s, said: “Under the guidance of our new senior leadership team and our board of trustees, the entire St Clare’s Hospice team will be working together in the coming months to ensure that we continue to provide good care and high quality services to the community.

“We hope that people in our local community will continue to give St Clare’s Hospice the support it needs to ensure the best possible service for those who need hospice care in South Tyneside, both now and in the future, and we are reaching out to supporters old and new to consider giving to St Clare’s Hospice in any way they can.

“St Clare’s Hospice is an independent charity, separate from the NHS, and it costs around £35,000 each week to run.

"Our annual running costs are £2.2million each year and an incredible £1.8million of this needs to be raised annually through voluntary giving from our community.

"Without the support of the people of South Tyneside we couldn’t continue to care for local people with life-limiting illnesses and their families at a time they need us most.”

Avril Robinson was appointed as the chief executive of the Jarrow charity in March last year but she no longer works for the organisation.

The hospice has reopened after a follow-up check in December by the CQC, which found improvements in key areas, believed to include clinical leadership and governance, had been made.

However, the reopening is subject to monitoring by the CQC and its inspectors will return within six months to ensure high standards have been maintained.