Video Produced by Hedleys Karten Media
We’re delighted that the government has now updated the visitor guidance so each resident will be able to have 2 nominated visitors!
We’re currently updating individual visiting plans and we’ll be in touch with families next week.
You can find the updated guidance here:
Message from Chair of Trustees, Jonathan Jowett:
“After 10 years’ service, our Chief Executive (CEO), Carole Harder, has decided to step down as our CEO. Having steered the organisation through a number of challenges over the years including a major pandemic, Carole feels that now is the right time for her to step down and make the most of life’s opportunities, which includes travelling the world as the travel restrictions ease.
Carole will leave us at the end of April, with our best wishes for the future. Our Executive Team will continue to run the organisation in the immediate term, and the Trustees are hoping to have an Interim CEO appointed as quickly as possible, who will remain in place whilst we undertake a search for a permanent replacement.”
Read the full letter for more information:
Visiting arrangements in care homes
We’ve now received the government guidance on contact visits in care homes, which is summarised here:
Full guidance can be found here: Visiting arrangements in care homes
We’re currently working through the guidance and and reviewing our visitor policy and processes for each home as well as reviewing individual visiting plans for each resident. We’ll be in touch with families early next week with more information about how we plan to extend visiting options for residents in line with the new guidance.
Visits away from care homes
The government also published guidance this week about visits away from the care home:
We’re also working through this new guidance and are reviewing individual risk assessments for each resident in line with the guidance. Please bear with us while we do this, we’re working as quickly as we can and we’ll update relatives as soon as we have more information.
Are you passionate about making a difference?
Do you want to help shape our future direction?
We are looking for additional Trustees to strengthen our Board. The role is voluntary and is one of governance, working with the Executive team in setting our long term strategy, taking responsibility to ensure the charity is properly run and compliant and that the Foundation makes best use of resources.
You may also have skills or experience that may not be listed above but would strengthen the Board and we would encourage you to apply.
Yesterday we had to suspend visits at Chipchase House and Ferndene, following two confirmed staff cases of COVID-19. When there are two or more cases of COVID-19 at a care home, it is classed as ‘in outbreak’ which means that all visits are suspended until 28 days after the last positive test. We’re working closely with public health to complete contact tracing. At this point, no residents have been identified as close contacts of the positive cases and all of the residents are currently fine and well. As a precaution, all residents have been tested this week and will be tested again next week.
If you have any questions or would like any more information, please get in touch with the team at Chipchase House on 0191 238 1313
We’ll provide regular updates to family members and will let you know as soon as we can restart visits.
Thanks for your support.
Changes to visiting residents at our care homes are coming soon!
Following the government announcement on Monday 22 February, we are expecting changes to the care home visiting rules to come into effect from 8 March as part of step one of the government’s lockdown exit plan.
We are waiting for guidance to be published next week to tell us more about what this looks like.
We’ll contact families and share more information as soon as we have it.
We know you have a lot of questions and are keen to know what this means so thanks for your patience.
Update from Jonathan Jowett, Chair, Board of Trustees:
“The Foundation has now received the report of the independent review commissioned by Trustees, following the closure of its Bradbury View children’s home in September 2020.
The review, commissioned by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, was carried out by Jacki Elliot working on behalf of Care Improvement Associates. Jacki is a former local authority social work manager with 31 years’ experience working with disabled children, learning disabled adults, and in residential and fostering services. Care Improvement Associates is a national network of over 40 care quality consultants, which includes current CQC inspectors, specialist advisers and former inspectors who all share the aim of outstanding care quality.
The Foundation accepts the ten key recommendations identified in the report and is developing an action plan to address the findings. The review report highlights three key areas the foundation should strengthen, including:
- Leadership, organisational culture and quality monitoring
- Recruitment, Retention, supervision and training of staff
- Quality and compliance issues in residential services
In October 2020, we announced the appointment of Lisa Deane as Director of Residential Care and Safeguarding. Lisa’s immediate remit has been to review leadership and management, drive an improvement in quality, review safeguarding arrangements and specifically to address any issues raised in the independent review. Lisa is an accomplished leader with a proven track record of leading residential business turnaround and improvement. In January 2021 the Board of Trustees also appointed a Safeguarding Trustee with specific responsibility for oversight of safeguarding matters at the Foundation. We have already implemented a number of service improvements to strengthen the quality of our services including, recruitment and induction of staff, electronic tracking of training completions, leadership development for managers, the introduction of CPOMs safeguarding system into children’s residential and regular quality audits.
We are deeply sorry for the disruption caused to the children and their parents and carers following the closure. We wanted to understand what led to the closure of the service so that we could learn from it and rebuild the trust and confidence of all families, supporters and commissioners to strengthen the future services we provide.
The independent review provides a clear insight into the issues we need to address and the actions we should undertake in developing our plans for the future of Bradbury View. We have taken the opportunity to discuss these plans and the way forward with parents, guardians and other key stakeholders in open, transparent and constructive consultative meetings.”
Update on vaccinations in our adult care homes
We’ve had some enquiries from family members about when their loved one will get a COVID-19 vaccination. The approach to vaccinating members of the community is led by local authorities and the health service and this means it varies between each area. The initial priority in all areas was to focus on care homes registered to care for older people. You may have seen the Prime Minister in the media saying all care home residents have been offered a vaccination – this refers to homes registered for people aged 65 and over.
All of our adult homes are registered as specialist residential accommodation for adults of working age. So, even though a number of our residents are 65 and over, this means that our homes do not fall into the high priority groups which are being offered the vaccine first.
We know you’re anxious to make sure your loved one gets their vaccine as soon as possible so thought it would be useful to provide an update for you.
Newcastle – Tyne House and Wansbeck House
In Newcastle all our residents who consented and were able to have the vaccine have now had their first dose of the vaccine. Most of our staff (80%) who have consented to have the vaccine have also had their first dose.
North Tyneside – Leybourne, Chipchase House and Ferndene
In North Tyneside, most residents have not yet been offered the vaccine as our homes are classified as tier 4 priority. We are in close contact daily with local authorities and GP surgeries to do what we can to ensure our residents get the vaccine as quickly as possible. A small number of residents have been able to access their vaccine through their GP surgery. North Tyneside Council have advised us that they are now starting to prepare for the roll out of the vaccine to care homes in tier 4, residents in Chipchase House and Leybourne will be vaccinated next week (date to be confirmed). We’ll update family members next week about progress.
Most of our team members working in all our care homes have now had their first dose of the vaccine and in Leybourne some of our team have had their second dose.
Help us spread some love – decorate a heart
We promise to put people at the heart of everything we do and we need you to help us spread the love across Percy Hedley by decorating a heart!
All you need to do is print off one (or more) of the heart colouring sheets below, decorate it and share a picture of your creation. We’d love as many of our supporters as possible to decorate their own hearts. It’s also a great lockdown activity to do at home with your family.
So if you have any budding artists at home (you included!), just print out the sheet from the link below, decorate and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re going to be sharing all of the hearts in a virtual gallery on our social media channels and our website so watch this space!
This has been an extraordinary year for the Foundation which has brought new challenges and opportunities as we have responded to the unprecedented circumstances as a result of the pandemic. We continue to work with our staff, Public Health England, commissioners and unions to ensure service users and staff are safe. The pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, and last week, the Prime Minister announced another national lockdown as the number of positive cases of COVID-19 increased across the country. I wanted to share an update on what’s happening across the Foundation since the announcement last week.
As a provider of frontline services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community, most services have remained open throughout the pandemic, providing homes and vital support for our service users. In the last couple of weeks, there has been an increase in the number of positive cases and our teams continue to do an amazing job making sure that they keep services running wherever it is safe to do so. This is not easy and there are times where staffing is reduced and we have to take quick decisions. For example, this means we may need to send pupils, young people and service users home until staff return from isolation. We take every possible action to avoid this and would only do so as a last resort. If your child/family member is affected, we will inform you as soon as we possibly can and support with any necessary arrangements.
Across the Foundation the guidance we follow differs depending on the setting (ie Education or Social care) so we monitor government guidance very closely. We also work closely with our Local Authority education and social care commissioners, Public Health colleagues and trade unions. We monitor the situation closely and where there are positive cases of COVID-19 in our college, student or service user population, we follow isolation guidance and complete required Local Authority tracing protocol to identify close contacts of the positive case. Sometimes this means we need to close all or part of a bubble and ask the people in it to isolate at home. We try to update all families with what is happening as quickly as we can, but please bear with us if it takes us a little longer than we would like to get information out to anyone who is not directly affected.
The request from the government is to stay at home wherever possible, and across our schools and college, some of our students are now learning from home. We continue to get positive thanks for our fantastic staff teams who have worked hard to set up remote learning for students. I would also like to say a huge well done to all our students and their parents who are helping them to do the home learning – you are all doing a fantastic job. Our teams will be checking in with you regularly to see if there is any other support you need during the lockdown.
The planning and implementation of the rapid or Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing for staff, students and service users is well advanced across all sites for those who agree to complete the regularly tests. This will help us prevent the spread of COVID-19; and support us in managing the impact on staff through the ability to implement serial testing where sanctioned by government guidance.
Our promise is to put people at the heart of what we do, and as CEO, I am extremely proud of the commitment, resilience, and agility that staff across the organisation have shown this year through challenging circumstances.
As we now look forward to a new future with COVID-19 as part of our lives for the near future I would like to show my deepest gratitude to carers, parents and families and once again to the Percy Hedley team who I see making such a difference every day to people’s lives, and who will give us the strength and resilience to continue to deliver in the coming year.
These are unprecedented times, and we have faced challenges we never thought we would over the last 12 months. I know how difficult this is for everyone, and I would like to say a huge thank you for all your continued support.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we will respond as quickly as we can.
Carole Harder, Chief Executive