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Coming to stay

patient with fish tank

Before a stay

Once it has been confirmed that a child or young person is eligible for short breaks at Ryegate House we work with their family to arrange a settling in session. This is an opportunity for the child and staff members to get to know each other and can help to reduce any anxiety about the first overnight stay.

We are flexible about how the settling in sessions work – they could be a day time visit with the family or a short stay without the family. We are happy to do whatever the child or young person and their family feels most comfortable with.

To support your child during their stay at Ryegate House we have detailed and thorough care plans which are created with yourself and the child if appropriate to enable us to meet the child’s needs appropriately.  Care plans are updated as your child’s needs dictate.

Planning a stay

Stays at Ryegate House are booked as far in advance as a year. Please bear in mind that weekends and school holidays get very busy. To try and be fair to all families that use our service we suggest that no more than 50% of your allocated stays should be used at these times.

You will receive your year’s allocation in January.  Requests can be submitted via We ask that all requests for the following year are submitted by the end of October to allow our staff to produce the year’s allocation.  We understand that sometimes night allocations may need to be amended.  We will do our best to try and facilitate this but sometimes this may not always be possible resulting in a loss of that night/s.

To ensure that families feel confident about the care that their child receives, we carry out a pre-visit check over the phone 24 hours before a stay to make sure we have the right information about medication and other health related issues. Even if your child has stayed with us in the past, we do this check before each visit.

The arrival time for respite care will be arranged during your pre-care checks carried out 24 hours before.  Please note that during term time we do not accept school age children before 3pm.

What to pack

You need to bring everything that is required for your child’s care and comfort as follows:

  • All medical equipment used to look after them at home (including feed pumps, suction, nebulisers and monitoring equipment)
  • Syringes, giving sets and prescribed feed if nutrition is administered via PEG/PEJ or IV route
  • Toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, nappy cream and sun cream in the summer months
  • Clothing and nappies and a sling for manual handling if used
  • Any specific comforter such as teddies or blankets
  • All medication your child may need – this must be clearly labelled with the child’s name and the dose and frequency of the medication (please note staff can only administer the dose
  • Medication prescribed on the bottle unless written confirmation of the change is provided by the prescriber) – remember syringes too

We also need primary carers to provide up to date contact details. If you will not be available during your child/young person’s stay, we need the name and contact details for an emergency contact person.

During the stay

Families are welcome to telephone Ryegate House to enquire about their child as much as they like.

We can provide private telephone facilities for children to use if they wish to contact family and friends and can make calls at any reasonable time with assistance if required.

Parents and other relatives are also welcome to visit at any time during their child’s stay, although this rarely happens as stays are generally short.

On the last day of their stay, pick up times are discussed during the pre-care checks completed 24 hours before the stay.  Please not that we do not allow school age children to stay in Ryegate House past 9am during term time.

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