New end-of-life care service to replace launches at St Clare’s Hospice in South Tyneside
Campaigners had hoped to see service restored to the existing hospice site at Primrose Terrace.
But health chiefs have concluded that setting up a new end-of-life and palliative care service on the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital would be the best option.
Bosses say the new service provides improved care and support in the community for people with life-limiting illnesses and nearing the end of life, alongside a new unit dedicated to end-of-life care and palliative care at Haven Court.
The Cedars Unit will care for adults (aged 18+) who have a life-limiting illness and are in the last days or weeks of life.
Health officials say patients will receive holistic care around the clock to help manage their symptoms and make life more comfortable.
The team said six private bedrooms, located on the ground floor of Haven Court, have been newly decorated and have en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers and access to a calming garden.
Accommodation is also available for relatives and friends who wish to stay with their loved one.
The Cedar unit is supported by the South Tyneside Community Palliative Care Team and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust said this means patients admitted to the Cedar unit will receive ongoing care from the same palliative care nurses who supported them at home.
Health chiefs said patients requiring end-of-life care are often admitted to hospital, usually via A&E, by their GP or district nurse and are usually cared for on general wards.
They say the new unit will provide a comfortable and warm environment for those who don’t want to die in hospital or at home.
In the future, it is hoped that the unit will become a hub for a range of services including; day services, social benefits/counselling, counselling, holistic therapies, physiotherapy and art therapy.
Elaine Coghill, Deputy Director of Nursing at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new approach will transform the way end-of-life and palliative care is currently delivered in South Tyneside.
“We want people to have as much choice and control as possible. Providing the right care, support and dignity at the end of life is important for every patient. That’s why we’ve also invested in community services for people who prefer to die at home or in a nursing home.
Dr Nousha Ali, local GP and clinical director of the NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is important that patients have more choice at the end of their life, so that everyone can receive the best quality care. , wherever they choose to be We have already expanded community teams that care for people who prefer to be at home or in a care home at the end of life.
“The Cedars Unit is a quiet and dignified place for people who prefer not to be home or in the hospital.”
The Cedar unit is located in Haven Court, a state-of-the-art integrated care facility set in its own area on the site of South Tyneside District Hospital.
Haven Court is a care home specializing in residential and nursing care, dementia care and rehabilitation.
It opened in 2016 and is a wholly owned subsidiary (South Tyneside Integrated Care Limited) of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. In December 2020, Haven Court was rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).