Plans approved to replace St Clare's Hospice with new end-of-life care rooms and services

Plans to replace St Clare’s Hospice with new of end-of-life care services have been agreed by health chiefs in South Tyneside.

The former St Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.
The former St Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.

The governing body of South Tyneside’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) approved a £1.5million annual investment into a new ‘spoke and hub’ model for the borough on September 24.

Health chiefs say this will provide improved services for people who prefer to die at home, as well as a suite of ‘home-from-home’ end-of-life bedrooms at Haven Court in South Shields.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Haven Court at the South Tyneside District Hospital site, which will be home to new end-of-life care rooms.

The move will bring a dedicated hospice-style facility back to the borough following the closure of Jarrow’s St Clare’s Hospice, which collapsed into insolvency almost two years ago.

Matt Brown, the CCG’s executive director of operations, said the model represented “another important step towards our vision for a better range of services, so that more people can choose where to spend their last days, knowing that high quality support will be on hand.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He went on to say: “Right now, there are no end-of-life beds in South Tyneside. Today’s decision means that can change.

“Haven Court can offer homely private bedrooms with en-suite facilities, in a calm and dignified environment. Being close to the hospital, it will also help us to recruit staff and coordinate end-of-life services better.”

Haven Court at the South Tyneside District Hospital site, which will be home to new end-of-life care rooms.

He added: “But the ‘home-from-home’ bedrooms are just part of the service. I want to thank the dedicated teams who are already providing palliative care and social care in people’s homes and in care homes. Today’s investment means that they can continue to improve services for us all.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Around 50% of deaths take place in hospital, with 30% at home, 15% in care homes and 4% in hospices. All of those people are important to us, and they all deserve a high standard of care, wherever they choose to be.”

Dr Tarquin Cross, a member of the CCG’s governing body representing secondary care, also welcomed the plans.

“As a hospital doctor, I have cared for many patients in the last days and hours of their lives,” he said.

Haven Court at the South Tyneside District Hospital site, which will be home to new end-of-life care rooms.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The most difficult moments often come when someone wants more than anything to be at home, but we don’t have the necessary services available to make that happen.

“This new model will change all that and help more patients to have the best possible experience, in the place they want to be.”

Haven Court is based in its own separate area of the South Tyneside District Hospital site, is purpose-built to provide care services and has a private garden, its own separate car park and entrance.

A total of four ‘home-from-home’ bedrooms were agreed, which will benefit from a dedicated family and carer suite with catering facilities, so that people can be close to their loved ones.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The CCG also aims to develop services such as physio and occupational therapies, complementary therapies, counselling and a chaplaincy service.

Campaigners and South Tyneside’s MPs have previously opposed the plans, raising concerns about the suitability of the Haven Court site.

At the governing body meeting on Thursday, September 24, members heard an “unprecedented huge number” of questions had been submitted via email about the proposals.

Health chiefs said the number of beds at Haven Court could be increased in future, subject to demand, and outlined the reasons end-of-life care could not return to the St Clare’s site at Primrose Hill.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Brown said “There is not an entity that can run services from there and we talked to a lot of hospices in the last couple of weeks about the position they found themselves in, particularly post-Covid and it is incredibly challenging right now financially for the hospice sector.

“[There are] real difficulties for very established hospices, including Macmillan, nationally, let alone trying to start fresh with a new organisation.

“In order to provide the range of services we need and to make sure we can genuinely recruit the staff we need with a financially sustainable and real-world model, we had to look at something different.”

He added: “I would stress the point that this is new, we want to start here and see where it goes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We want to actually get a sense of how it’s working for people, does the capacity work? Do we need to look at different bed arrangements?

“We absolutely want to do that and will flex the model as we need to moving forward.”

The plans are available to download at www.southtynesideccg.nhs.uk.

A message from the editor

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Shields Gazette website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.shieldsgazette.com/subscriptions to sign up.

You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here: https://www.localsubsplus.co.uk/.

Thank you.