COVID-19 update – 26.02.21 – visits suspended at Chipchase House and Ferndene

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.

COVID-19 – update following recent government announcement – 24.02.21

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.

COVID-19 care home visits changing from 8 March

Trustees’ Independent Review, Bradbury View Children’s Home – Update 09.02.21

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.”

COVID-19 update, vaccinations in our care homes – 05.02.21

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

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

Print your colouring sheet here

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!


Percy Hedley Foundation COVID-19 Update – 12.01.21

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 wmonitor 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 â€“ 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 

Update from Jonathan Jowett, Chair, Board of Trustees:

Following the closure of Bradbury View 52-week children’s home in September, the Trustees initiated an independent review of events that led to the closure. The Trustees recently received initial feedback from the independent reviewer, and the draft report is expected to be made available to Trustees before the Christmas break. The Trustees will then meet to consider the report in early January, ahead of the reviewer issuing the final report. The Trustees will put in place a Foundation-wide action plan to address both the matters raised by OFSTED and the recommendations from the independent review.

Whilst we will not be in a position to disclose anything further before Christmas, we are aiming to be publishing details of the key findings of the review, and the plans to address its recommendations as soon as possible in the New Year.

We would like to thank all of our stakeholders for their patience as we work through the report, and we take this opportunity to send everyone connected to Percy Hedley Foundation our best wishes and compliments of the season.

Here at The Percy Hedley Foundation, we’ve been working closely with Northumbria Police this December to help make their Christmas video message inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Staff and students at our Northern Counties School have been teaching police officers, staff and volunteers British Sign Language which has been played in primary schools across the region.

We’re one of the charities that the Force has chosen to support this Christmas with its in-house Christmas fundraising activity.

To celebrate this special relationship and say thank you, we invited Chief Constable Winton Keenen to a festive celebration event on Tuesday 15 December.

At the event our signing choir performed two Christmas songs to thank our friends from Northumbria Police, and some of our hearing impaired students had the chance to ask the Chief Constable some questions.

Chief Constable Winton Keenan said: “At Northumbria Police we continually seek to be a truly inclusive organisation and my aim has always been to bring the Force closer to the fantastic communities we are so privileged to serve here in the North East.

“I was therefore delighted by the great response we received from the Percy Hedley Foundation after we reached out to see if they could help us send and create some positive thoughts and feelings across the region this Christmas.

“The Foundation and especially the people and families they support are truly inspiring.”

Head of fundraising at Percy Hedley, Suzanne Mckenna said: “This year we have worked with Northumbria Police to help produce their Christmas message, by helping officers sign to ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’.

“In addition to this, we are absolutely delighted that Northumbria Police have chosen the Percy Hedley Foundation to be one of their chosen charities this year.

“To say thank you, our wonderful choir at Northern counties school sent a thank you video message to Northumbria police and Chief Constable Winton Keenen has taken the time today to come down and personally say thank you and deliver some gifts to the children.”

Usually at this time of year students from our schools, Northern Counties and Percy Hedley School, would be preparing to visit Intu Eldon Square and MetroCentre to perform their carols and Christmas songs for you and collect donations to support our work. Due to lockdown restrictions, sadly, they are unable to perform live this year, but we have worked some early Christmas magic to be able to bring their performances to you!

We are delighted however to announce that we will be sharing Christmas Carols and songs performed by our students from Northern Counties and Percy Hedley Schools throughout December on our Facebook pages, sneak preview below!

We would love it if you would share our videos with your family and friends and ask them to put some coins in our ‘virtual’ collection buckets by visiting our dedicated page and making an online donation.  Your support will help us continue to improve the lives of the disabled children, young people and adults we care for every day.

Please help Percy Hedley spread a little festive cheer, lift the spirit and warm the heart at this challenging time.  Thank you.

Today is #GivingTuesday!

December 1st is #GivingTuesday, an international day of global giving

#GivingTuesday is a day where everyone, everywhere can do something to support the good causes that mean so much to them.

All over the world people are marking today by donating to charities close to their hearts.

We are so grateful to everyone who supports Percy Hedley every day.  Your time, energy, enthusiasm and donations are very much appreciated.

If you would like to make this #GivingTuesday special for the hundreds of disabled people we care for every day, you can make a donation here. Thank you.