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.


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.


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

National Epilepsy Week

In recognition of National Epilepsy Week, #nationalepilepsyweek , we thought we would pull together some great information from The Foundations nursing team. Read all about how we look after epilepsy and read some of our frequently asked questions on epilepsy.

Epilepsy In The Percy Hedley Foundation

Within the Percy Hedley Foundation our team of highly skilled nurses,  education, care and residential staff are qualified to administer emergency medication to the children and people in their care following NHS seizure plan.

Every child, young person or adult in The Foundation with Epilepsy has their own personalised seizure plan which contains information on their seizures (triggers, what seizures look like) and how and these are controlled.

The Foundation also operates a `yellow bag procedure`. This yellow bag is provided to everyone who may require emergency medication and contains their medication and any care plan information.

These bags are locked and then always kept on the person at all times, in a convenient place. This ensures, not only that we keep all medication confidential but also that the medication is always quickly on hand should it be required.

Frequently Asked Questions About Epilepsy.

What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the brain and causes recurring seizures or fits. Due to an uncontrolled increase of excess electrical activity in the brain interfering with the normal functions, this causes a short interruption to the relay of messages in the brain.

What causes Epilepsy?
Epilepsy can be caused by various conditions that affect a person’s brain. Some of the known causes include:

• Stroke.
• Brain tumour.
• Brain infection from parasites (malaria, neurocysticercosis), viruses (influenza, dengue, Zika), and bacteria.
• Traumatic brain injury or head injury.
• Loss of oxygen to the brain (for example, during birth).
• Some genetic disorders (eg. Down syndrome).
• Other neurologic diseases (eg. Alzheimer’s disease).

For 2 in 3 people, the cause of epilepsy is unknown. This type of epilepsy is called cryptogenic or idiopathic.

How many people have Epilepsy?
Approximately 600,000 people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with epilepsy, affecting people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly.

This is the equivalent of 1 in every 103 people.

Every day 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy.

What is a seizure?
An epileptic seizure results from a sudden electrical discharge in the brain that causes changes in sensation, behaviour or consciousness.
Seizures can take many forms because the brain is responsible for such a wide range of functions. Seizure symptoms depend on where in the brain this abnormal burst of electrical activity happens.

How long do seizures last?
As a result of the electrical activity, there are many different types of seizures – most usually last from a few seconds to a few minutes and usually stop without any treatment.

Are all seizures the same?
There are 40 different types of seizures and people may have one of several different types. Approximately 60% of people have tonic clonic seizures, 20% complex partial, 12% mixed tonic clonic and partial, 3% simple partial and less than 5% absence seizures, myoclonic seizures and other types.

Are Epilepsy seizures caused by light?
Approximately 3% of people diagnosed with epilepsy are photosensitive, which means their seizures are brought on by flashing lights.

What to do if someone has an epileptic seizure?
If you see someone having a seizure or fit, there are some simple things you can do to help. You should call 999 for an ambulance if you know it’s their first seizure or it’s lasting longer than 5 minutes.

It might be scary to witness, but do not panic.

If you’re with someone having a seizure:

  • only move them if they’re in danger, such as near a busy road or hot cooker
  • cushion their head if they’re on the ground
  • loosen any tight clothing around their neck, such as a collar or tie, to aid breathing
  • turn them on to their side after their convulsions stop – read more about the recovery position
  • stay with them and talk to them calmly until they recover
  • note the time the seizure starts and finishes

If the person is in a wheelchair, put the brakes on and leave any seatbelt or harness on. Support them gently and cushion their head, but do not try to move them.

Do not put anything in their mouth, including your fingers. They should not have any food or drink until they have fully recovered.

When to call an ambulance

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance if:

  • it’s the first time someone has had a seizure
  • the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes
  • the person does not regain full consciousness, or has several seizures without regaining consciousness
  • the person is seriously injured during the seizure

People with epilepsy do not always need to go to hospital every time they have a seizure.

Some people with epilepsy wear a special bracelet or carry a card to let medical professionals and anyone witnessing a seizure know they have epilepsy.

Check out more stories about The Percy Hedley Foundation here.

Chipchase House – 80s Party Night

Our residents and staff at Chipchase house had a brilliant 80s party night as staff and residents got dressed up for the occasion.

The night was full of laughter, singing and dancing and it was brilliant to see everyone having so much fun.

Changes to guidance on visits away from care homes for residents

We are delighted that the government have announced an update to the guidance on visits away from their care home for residents. This means that residents will be able to leave their care home to do more things. This might include visits with friends and family to outdoor spaces and leisure venues, or to celebrate special occasions without having to self-isolate for 14 days. This is great news for residents who up to now, have not been able to leave their care home.Our teams are working as quickly as possible to support residents and organise visits. Please bear with us as we put arrangements in place and respond to enquiries from family members.

Visiting our care homes – update to government guidance 08.04.21

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:

Visits for our care home residents – COVID-19 update 11.03.21

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:

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.

We’re looking for volunteers to join our Board of Trustees

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.

Apply now

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

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.