St Clare's Hospice: 45 staff made redundant following closure

St Clare's Hospice has closed.
St Clare's Hospice has closed.

Hospice chiefs are in talks with the NHS to fill the gap left by the closure of St Clare's Hospice in Jarrow.

Hospice bosses say a total of 45 staff including chief executive Paul Jones-King, have been made redundant by the closure of the hospice.

On Monday it announced it has closed following a decision to enter into insolvent liquidation.

The charitable trust which runs the hospice has faced severe financial difficulties for a number of years, which has been compounded by a prolonged period of closure last year, leaving it insolvent.

The hospice was temporarily closed in September last year following an inspection by health watchdogs from the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.

The hospice reopened earlier this year after the CQC found the improvements had been made, but now the hospice has confirmed it has been forced to close due to financial difficulties.

Its former chief executive Avril Robinson, who was appointed in the role in March 2017, left the role in December 2018, after the report.

Staff and volunteer meetings were held on Monday and the hospice, based on Primrose Terrace in Jarrow, is working with the NHS trust and the hospice collaboration to help highlight vacancies for staff to find new employment.

A hospice spokeswoman has confirmed that the NHS Trust owns the building and says therefore it is up to the owners on its future use.

The hospice say they do no know what is planned for the building going forward, but that the NHS Trust will be working with partners, the CCG and the local authority to identify where there will be gaps in the system following the closure of St Clare's.

Tracy Woodall, chairman of the trustees of St Clare's Hospice, said: "We held a staff meeting and a volunteer meeting yesterday.

"All off the staff have been made redundant including the chief executive.

"The hospice has had a meeting with the NHS Trust who are going to provide a hotline number that staff can ring and see if there are any jobs there.

"They are also working with partners with the hospice collaboration to see if there are any vacancies.

"Staff are free to choose any job in the area."

The hospice has been providing specialist care and support to adults living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in South Tyneside since it opened in 1987.

Chief executive, Paul Jones-King, confirmed that there are no patients currently at the hospice.