Plans for future of palliative care for South Tyneside after closure of St Clare's Hospice set to be revealed in September

Proposals for the future of end of life care in South Tyneside following the closure of St Clare’s Hospice could be revealed to the public in September.

By James Harrison
Friday, 26th July 2019, 3:38 pm
The former St. Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.
The former St. Clare's Hospice, Jarrow.

Care chiefs in the borough have been sounding out patients for suggestions on what kind of palliative care services should be funded in the borough.

But although the prospect of a new ‘hospital inpatient-based service’ has been raised, the public has also been warned it may not be possible to resurrect the old, Jarrow-based facility.

“St Clare’s closed in January because it wasn’t able to manage its finances,” said Matt Brown, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) director of operations.

“We’ve run a process of the last few months to reach out and listen to what people want and we’ve had a series of workshops over the summer.

“A report will be coming to the executive committee in August and [the CCG governing body] will receive a report in September.”

Mr Brown was speaking at a meeting on July 25 of the governing body, which meets in public six times a year.

The CCG’s executive committee does not meet in public, but its minutes are later made available through the governing body.

Minutes from the executive committee’s March 27 meeting noted the ‘level of public and political interest’ in the closure of St Clare’s Hospice and the future of palliative care in the borough and called for any public engagement to be ‘fully transparent’.

According to records of a subsequent meeting, on April 25: “Committee members noted the importance of continuing to emphasise St Clare’s, as an organisation, no longer exists and that a line has now been drawn.”

In April, Mr Brown revealed last ditch attempts by the CCG to secure a bail-out plan for the hospice before it went into liquidation in January.

In 2018 it also suffered two temporary closures, the first due to a shortage of doctors and the second following a damning inspection by the Care Quality Commission.