Tyne & Wear

Jarrow's St Clare's Hospice probed by Charity Commission

St Clare's Hospice Image copyright St Clare's Hospice
Image caption The hospice closed in January after financial difficulties

The collapse of a hospice into insolvency is being reviewed by a government regulator.

St Clare's Hospice in Jarrow, South Tyneside, closed in January, with bosses blaming financial difficulties.

The Charity Commission said it was looking at the circumstances of the closure but had not yet committed to a full investigation.

It was "assessing information, including a serious incident report submitted by the charity", it said.

This would establish "what regulatory action may be required", a spokesman said.

Possible fraud probe

Last month, South Tyneside Council's overview and scrutiny committee chairman Rob Dix agreed to write to the Charity Commission to request an assessment of the events leading to St Clare's collapse.

He also raised the prospect of a possible fraud investigation if necessary, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

St Clare's had been providing end of life care for 30 years.

It was temporarily closed in July 2018 because of a shortage of doctors and closed again in September 2018 for four months following an inspection in which the Care Quality Commission rated it "inadequate".

St Clare's annual operating costs were £2.2m and it typically raised £1.8m each year through voluntary donations, a spokeswoman for the hospice has previously said.

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