Tyne & Wear

St Clare's Hospice site 'unlikely' to reopen as care hub

St Clare's Hospice Image copyright St Clare's Hospice
Image caption St Clare's Hospice was a well-known care facility on South Tyneside

A former South Tyneside hospice is "unlikely" to reopen as a base for end-of-life care, NHS chiefs have said.

St Clare's Hospice, in Jarrow, closed in January after 30 years.

Health bosses are working on plans for the future of palliative services in the borough with proposals including a facility with an inpatient unit.

However, a meeting at Jarrow Town Hall was told the Primrose Hill site would not be the right place for the clinical model health chiefs intend to pursue.

"I know people want to know what building [the hub] will be in, but I cannot say at this point," said Matt Brown, director of operations at South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

"But I think it is unlikely that can be Primrose Hill.

"I know that is the site people feel passionately about, but we don't feel it's likely we can make the right, safe clinical model work on that site."

Mr Brown was speaking at a meeting of the Jarrow and Boldon Community Area Forum (CAF) where he updated councillors and the public on the progress of plans to replace St Clare's.

The hospice closed its doors after bosses said it was facing financial difficulties.

The meeting followed a report for CCG chiefs last month which outlined proposals for a "spoke and hub" model with a greater emphasis on home and community care.

It is thought that would mean a lower staffing burden for a new palliative care facility - a problem which forced St Clare's into a one-month temporary closure last year before it shut permanently.

It has been suggested a new hub could be based "in the vicinity of" South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, to enable doctors to work across both sites, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

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