A South Tyneside hospice which closed due to issues with recruitment of staff will re-open this weekend.
St Clare’s Hospice, based in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, will re-open on Sunday with a special celebratory event open to the entire community.
Councillor Ken Stephenson, the Mayor of South Tyneside, has chosen St Clare’s Hospice as one of his chosen charities for his mayoral year and will re-open the Hospice this Sunday after a three-week planned closure.
Bosses admitted that the hospice faced "challenges with the recruitment of specialist doctors."
Avril Robinson, hospice chief executive, made the decision to stop services but now – with the team back to full strength – the skilled Hospice staff will be able to resume care as of Monday.
Organisers say the celebration event will provide the community with an opportunity to see newly refurbished patient and family areas of the Hospice and learn more about what it does .
Tea, coffee and a slice of cake will be on offer.
Businesses and organisations have been supporting St Clare’s Hospice with refurbishment work during the three-week closure.
Volunteers from BT Managed Services in Jarrow and South Shields, as well as volunteers from South Tyneside Homes and Community Payback, have been painting and decorating the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit and the Primrose Lounge in the St Clare’s Hospice Wellbeing Centre.
Beaumont Home Furnishings Ltd in Jarrow has kindly gifted the hospice with a free chair for their conservatory and Gentoo have tidied up the hospice gardens ahead of the re-opening.
Councillor Stephenson said: “As one of my chosen charities this year, St Clare’s Hospice is a cause that I have admired for a very long time and I continue to remain inspired by the care and support that the Hospice teams have provided for over 30 years to the people of South Tyneside.
“I would like to thank all the dedicated staff and volunteers for working so hard.
"They have given the hospice a lovely, fresh look which I am sure patients, their families and carers will all appreciate. “
Ms Robinson added: “The decision was difficult but it was very much the right decision.
"The St Clare’s team has achieved a great deal in the three weeks that we have paused our services and we have been overwhelmed by the overriding positive reaction of our local community.
"We have had so many well wishes from people who have been supported over the years by the Hospice teams and the number of individuals, businesses and community groups who have come to help us with the first phase of our refurbishment work has been very humbling. We look forward to welcoming everyone on Sunday afternoon.”
Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to see St Clare’s Hospice able to offer its full service to local people once again, and would like to thank St Benedict’s Hospice and other colleagues for their support during this time.”
Dr David Hambleton, chief executive at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are glad to see St Clare’s open again and would like to thank all our partner organisations for their help over the past three weeks. We will continue to support the hospice as it resumes its full range of services.”