Palliative care

  1. New hospice for South Tyneside could be open by summer

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A planned replacement for the former St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow could be ready to open in less than six months.

    In September NHS chiefs agreed plans for a new end of life care facility in South Tyneside, which has been without a dedicated base of palliative services when the former hospice went into insolvency almost two years ago.

    Now health bosses have told the Local Democracy Service that they could restart provision from Haven Court, in South Shields, by April 2021.

    “The model we approved in September is progressing well, [there’s been] really good clinical discussions about the nuts and bolts of it,” said Matt Brown, director of operations at South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

    “I’m a bit reluctant to nail any colours to the mast, given how much things are changing with Covid, but ending any Covid issues and recruitment, we’re hoping the service will be up and running soon.

    Mr Brown revealed the plan at a meeting of the CCG’s governing body, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

    Campaigners and MPs for the borough have previously opposed the plans, raising concerns about the proposed location on the South Tyneside District Hospital site, and calling for services to return to St Clare’s Hospice’s former home in Jarrow.

    Former St Caire's Hospice, Jarrow
    Image caption: St Claire's Hospice shut in January 2019
  2. Study shows gender and ethnicity inequity in palliative care

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A study has concluded there is an “urgent need” for further research into its findings showing that Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients, and in particular women, have had to wait longer for palliative care than white patients, both before and during the pandemic.

    The research was conducted by the Homerton Hospital's palliative care team, looking at the first 60 Covid-positive inpatients referred to its service between 1 March and 23 April of this year, alongside the 60 inpatients referred in a similar period last year.

    The results showed that the time of referral to palliative care, which provides specialised support for people with life-limiting conditions, became longer for Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients during the pandemic, with a mean difference of 3.94 days to how long white patients had to wait.

    Pre-Covid, the mean difference was 0.27 days. Claude Chidiac, the Homerton’s lead nurse for palliative care, said: “We found that Black, Asian, and minority ethnic patients tended to be referred later to palliative care compared to white ethnic patients, especially during COVID-19.

    “This is an important finding for us to learn from and do more to understand why this is happening. Ethnic health inequalities are widely documented globally, but our findings suggest that Covid-19 may exacerbate those experiences.

    “Therefore, we need to understand the ‘why’ and come up with effective solutions to set up equitable, responsive, flexible and integrated services.”

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Duchess of Cambridge visits Nook children's hospice as pandemic boosts demand

    The duchess met staff as well as people who benefit from East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus changes how doctors deal with death

    Five doctors administering end-of-life care reflect on the current crisis.