FAO COVID-19 update for family and friends of children / young people / adults residing in North East Autism Society residential care homes

It is with the greatest of urgency but also a deep sense of sadness that I am writing to you today to inform you of necessary, strict, operating constraints now in place across all of our North East Autism Society residential care services. 

As of this morning (Monday, March 23, 2020), in line with latest Government and NHS guidelines, we are taking urgent and drastic steps to protect the lives of your loved ones and those employed to support them. 

From today – as difficult and upsetting as this will be for all concerned  – we can no longer allow any visits to be made to any of our residential homes, and cannot allow any of our residents to be taken out for the day / or for appointments by outside visitors either.

These are unknown days with daily changes to Government guidance, but what seems certain is that if we do not all work together now the situation could become a lot more desperate, perhaps gravely so, for the vulnerable people in our services, yourselves and our staff. 

It goes without saying that we have a duty of care both to your loved ones and to our employees but we also have to act swiftly in order to curb the spread of this virus and to preserve NHS services as much as possible. 

Let me take this opportunity to add that I would never forgive myself if something was to happen to anyone – be it the people in our services or my staff and colleagues – and as difficult as these days are I remain resolute that in all of us banding together we can and will get through this.

During this period of restricted and prohibited visitation to our residential services, our staff will be committed to making sure the day-to-day for every person will be as minimally disrupted as possible. They will also be on hand to support the use of any technology, such as Skype / Facetime so you can see and speak with your family members, wherever possible.

I do not know how long these new measures will be in place but I will endeavor to communicate with you as often as I possibly can.

Please do observe the Government’s advice for yourselves also.

Thank you in advance for your understanding. This is unquestionably difficult, unprecedented and upsetting. Please know myself and our senior management team share these emotions with you.


John Phillipson