St. Clare's Hospice Closure Minister Meeting

Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency has held a “productive” meeting with the Health Minister in Parliament to discuss the closure of St. Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow and the future of palliative care in the area.


The meeting was arranged after Mr Hepburn called on the Prime Minister to step in during Prime Minister’s Questions after the shock announcement that St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow had closed last month.


The Jarrow MP, who spoke directly with St. Clare’s Hospice Chief Executive Paul Jones-King on the evening of the news of the closure, immediately wrote to the Minister of State for the Department of Health, urging her for immediate assistance following the closure.  Mr Hepburn has also held meetings with South Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Chief Executive Dr David Hambleton and Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, to discuss the situation at St. Clare’s. 


St. Clare’s Hospice, based in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, opened in 1987 and has been delivering in-patient services, counselling and well-being day services to adults living with life-limiting illnesses and their families for the past 30 years, and its 50 staff and 100 volunteers have looked after 5,000 families from across South Tyneside at some of the most difficult times of their lives.


The independently-run hospice, which relied on the support of local businesses and the kind donations from the public, had annual operating costs of £2.2m and usually raises £1.8m each year through voluntary giving, with the balance coming from the contracts with the South Tyneside (CCG). The hospice said the closure of its in-patient and day services for four months last year severely restricted fundraising. Therefore, it was announced last month that St Clare’s had closed following a decision to enter insolvent liquidation due to financial difficulties.


Stephen Hepburn MP said:


“The meeting with the Health Minister was very productive and she has agreed to look into this issue further and contact me again in due course.


“Prior to meeting the Health Minister I’ve already held talks with the Chief Executive of St. Clare’s, the Chief Executive of South Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chief Executive of Hospice UK to see what can be done to see what can be done to secure and ensure health care for the terminally ill in this area. 


“St. Clare’s has provided a vital service for our local community for three decades and its loss is a huge blow to our local community.”



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Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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