Welcome from Carole Harder, Chief Executive

 

Could you be our next CEO?

We’re working with Odgers Berndtson to find our next CEO.

If you’re a passionate and experienced senior leader who wants to take #TeamPercyHedley on the next step of our journey towards making the services we provide the best they can be.

If you are motivated by improving the lives of families and individuals with complex needs this is your chance to make a difference.

Click here to find out more or apply.

Virtual Race Night 2

Join us for an exciting evening of light hearted fun with our Virtual Race Night 2 supported by BCB Rentals Ltd.

Your evening consists of eight races, all hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle DJ Steffen Peddie.

Your race ticket, only £10, includes one selection in each of the eight races shown throughout the evening. Percy Hedley Points will be awarded to participants with the winning horse in each race, with the grand prize going to the participant with the most points overall.

There will be gags and anecdotes a plenty with 90 minutes of fantastic entertainment but who will be top of the leaderboard in the final furlong?!

Get your tickets here: Race Night Tickets

All funds raised from this great event will go towards supporting The Percy Hedley Foundations aims of delivering outstanding care, support and education to over 600 families every week.

Residential Home Changes – Trips / Visiting

The government has recently announced some changes to the Covid-19 rules for visitors and trips out of residential care homes.

Visiting

Residents can now have up to 5 nominated visitors, with a maximum of 2 visitors at once or in one day.  We have already put this change in place across our homes. 

All visits must be booked in advance so that we can safely manage visitor numbers to each home and all visitors must follow our visitor policy to help us keep everyone safe.  This includes taking an LFD test to confirm you don’t have COVID-19, wearing PPE and limiting physical contact with your loved one.

Trips

Residents can now also make trips away from the care home without self-isolating on return to do the following:

  • Outdoor visits to parks, beaches or gardens (residents can go indoors to use the toilet).
  • Go to work or take part in education or training.
  • For medical appointments such as GP appointments, excluding overnight stays in hospital.
  • To take part in other activities necessary to maintain an individual’s health and wellbeing (for example, going to a day centre or to a place of worship).

Some residents may need staff support during trips away from the home (this will be identified in their visiting plan).

Residents can travel in one of their 5 nominated visitors’ vehicles. When travelling windows should be open and anyone travelling with the resident should wear face masks which we will provide.

Government Links
Care Home Visiting
Visit Out Of Care Homes


Farewell to Carole Harder, Chief Executive

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:

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

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 communications@percyhedley.org.uk

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 – 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 

Dear parents and family members

At the start of September, we welcomed back all of our students in our schools and college and have seen a gradual increase in service users attending our day services.  This means that we’ve had the largest number of staff, students and service users in our buildings since March when we closed due to the COVID-19  pandemic.

We are following government guidance to keep everyone as safe as we can and work closely with education, social care and health colleagues in local authorities. As the situation is changing daily, we are all closely monitoring the current changes regarding local lockdowns and will follow any guidance issued on this.

You might have seen in the news or media that there has been an increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the North East in the last couple of weeks and the local authorities have been asking us all to make sure we’re doing what we can to prevent the spread of infection.

This increase is already having an impact on schools, colleges and workplaces across the region.  To minimise the spread of infection, students and service users have been placed in bubbles.  If a student/service user displays any symptoms while in school, college, or day services then arrangements will be made for them to return home and you will need to arrange a test. If the test result returns a negative result, then you can return to services.  If anyone that has been in school, college or day services and is confirmed as a positive case we will contact all parents/service users and follow advice given by Public Health England and we may be advised to close all or part of a “bubble”.

The increase in cases and with government test and trace programme now in place, more people are being contacted and advised to self-isolate.  This is also having a significant impact on our staffing levels, with higher levels of absence than we have previously seen during the pandemic because some colleagues are having to self-isolate with their household even if they don’t have any symptoms themselves, in line with government guidance.

This impact may mean that there are times where we don’t have enough staff or staff with the required training to support students or service users safely.  If this happens, we may need to send them home until the situation is resolved.  We’d take every possible action to avoid this and would only do this as a last resort, but our priority is to keep all students and service users safe. If your child/family member is affected, we will inform you as soon as we possibly can and support with any necessary arrangements. Where possible, home learning will continue as per lockdown, if this becomes a reality.

It’s really important that we all do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Here’s a useful guide to help you know when you should keep your child or family member at home:

Parental Covid-Isolation Guidance 14th September 2020 all foundation

Thank you for your continued support.

Carole Harder

Chief Executive

We’ve had urgent information from Newcastle City Council advising us to close our care homes in Newcastle to non-essential visitors from today as it has raised its COVID Control Plan to amber following a spike in cases across the region.
 
Given the vulnerability of our residents if they were to contract COVID-19 we will be following the advice given and are temporarily closed for to all non-essential visitors from today (11 September 2020).
 
We’d like to reassure you that we have sought urgent further advice from the Local Authority to establish exactly what this means for us and to see whether there is any way we can safely maintain contact between our residents and their families.  We will work closely with the local authority and public health and keep you updated at the earliest opportunity if we are able to change this decision.
We know how difficult this will be for our residents and their families but trust that your continued support will enable us to keep your loved ones safe.