Jarrow MP Kate Osborne calls on government to take “urgent steps” over palliative care amid ongoing row over St Clare’s Hospice closure
The MP for Jarrow has called on the Government to take “urgent steps” to ensure palliative care provision is put in place in the town as the row over St Clare’s continues.
Kate Osborne raised the controversial closure of St Clare’s Hospice in Parliament on Tuesday, January 28.
In the House of Commons, the Labour MP asked the minister for health and social care what steps would be taken to ensure Jarrow has good quality palliative care provision following the “devastating” closure of the hospice.
St Clare’s collapsed into insolvency in January 2019 after more than 30 years caring for vulnerable patients at its base in Primrose Hill, leaving the borough without end-of-life care.
A grassroots campaign, Save St Clare’s Hospice, has repeatedly called for the site to be reopened, with a petition garnering support from thousands last year.
But health chiefs have warned that a like-for-like replacement is not a “credible” option and a proposed location for a new facility “within the vicinity” of South Tyneside District Hospital is expected to be revealed within weeks.
Speaking in parliament, Ms Osborne raised the concerns of her Jarrow constituents over the loss of the hospice and lack of provision for palliative care in the town.
She said: “Life expectancy advances depend on good local service provision.
“Following the devastating closure of St Clare’s Hospice we should be taking all steps possible to ensure palliative care provision is urgently put in place in Jarrow constituency.”
She went onto ask the minister to meet with her to discuss this “important issue.”
Conservative MP, Nadine Dorries, parliamentary under-secretary for health and social care, responded that she was unaware of the closure of St Clare’s but that her “door is open”.
In Tweet afterwards Ms Obsborne told her followers she would be meeting with the minister “in due course”.
She wrote: “At Health Questions today, I asked the Minister for Health and Social Care what urgent steps are in place to ensure Jarrow has good, quality palliative care provision after the devastating closure of St Clare’s Hospice.
“I will meet with the minister in due course.”