Campaigners and MPs slam St Clare's Hospice replacement plan

Campaigners have raised concerns about plans for an overhaul of end of life care in South Tyneside.
Kay Smith and and other St Clare's Hospice campaigners at the site Jarrow, on Tuesday, August 18, 2020Kay Smith and and other St Clare's Hospice campaigners at the site Jarrow, on Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Kay Smith and and other St Clare's Hospice campaigners at the site Jarrow, on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

If approved by NHS chiefs on September 24, it would partly replace the service previously provided by St Clare’s Hospice, which closed after collapsing into insolvency in 2019.

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But protestors who fought to see the centre in Primrose Terrace reopened have blasted the decision not to return patients to the site once more.

Campaigners at Parliament with Kate Osborne (right) to hand over a petition on the future of end-of-life care in South Tyneside and Jarrow's former St Clare's HospiceCampaigners at Parliament with Kate Osborne (right) to hand over a petition on the future of end-of-life care in South Tyneside and Jarrow's former St Clare's Hospice
Campaigners at Parliament with Kate Osborne (right) to hand over a petition on the future of end-of-life care in South Tyneside and Jarrow's former St Clare's Hospice

“The people of South Tyneside do not want this there,” said Kay Smith, who was in London earlier this month to help hand a petition on the issue over to parliament.

“The people are doing everything in their power to stop this, having it at the hospital is a red line.”

Bosses at South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which intends to provide £1.5million a year for the service, insist Haven Court will provide a ‘quiet and dignified setting’.

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They claim a new ‘spoke and hub’ model for delivery care will also offer patients more choice, but many remain unconvinced.

Haven Court, at South Tyneside District HospitalHaven Court, at South Tyneside District Hospital
Haven Court, at South Tyneside District Hospital

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne said: “I’m extremely disappointed that CCG have now totally ignored strong public feeling and officially confirmed their preference to have end of life care based at Haven Court.

“For many months I have actively campaigned to bring palliative care provision back to the Primrose Hill site.

“I still believe that any future Palliative End of Life care model must have an in-patient provision to ensure those who need this type of service can access it.

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“This should be delivered in a peaceful, homely environment that was previously delivered by St. Clare’s, not close to a busy main road, and in close vicinity to a hospital.”

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said: “It’s a massive blow to everyone who campaigned.

“There’s a massive need for palliative care in the borough and to only offer four beds is not enough.

“St Clare’s Hospice was often full with a waiting list, so people from South Tyneside may have to travel out of the area.”

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