15 Mar 2019
In November 2017, we undertook a consultation exercise with the purpose of obtaining feedback from subscribers and other interested parties on their views regarding the issues facing Bethesda. We are pleased now to publish the results of this.
Friends of Bethesda,
Please find here a copy of the “Report on the feedback received on the future of the Gospel Standard Bethesda Fund”.
In November 2017, we undertook a consultation exercise with the purpose of obtaining feedback from subscribers and other interested parties on their views regarding the issues facing Bethesda. This was to help us gain a broader understanding of the thoughts of others and inform our wider thinking as we prayerfully consider the future challenges that face us in shaping and reshaping Bethesda’s services.
We would at the outset thank you for your feedback and secondly apologise for the time that it has taken us to draw the extensive responses together into a meaningful report.
The feedback received was, as could be expected, wide-ranging and raise some interesting considerations and issues. There were 114 responses to the consultation from both subscribers and other interested parties. The responses were anonymized and analysed according to the broad headings of the consultation. Where a theme emerged, for example eligibility criteria, then this was added to the analysis.
In summary, the key points identified (each elaborated further in the report) are:
· the main reason for individuals coming into Bethesda is currently considered to be that the person has reached the stage where they are no longer able to cope for themselves (‘a last resort’)
· the reasons and/or concerns about coming into Bethesda included: the loss of independence; leaving the locality and friends; and financial (including inheritance considerations)
· there was general consent that there should be a reasonable increase in fees. However, the need for sound financial management was also highlighted
· there was a range of views as to whether to maintain the current three homes (in their geographic locations) or to have one purpose-built home. Those who advocated keeping the current three homes, were concerned about the impact of home closures or proximity to the remaining homes. Views were also expressed regarding the option of a purpose-built home; there was no clear consensus as to where the location of such a ‘one home’ should be
· suggestions were also made regarding setting up and providing a home care service and sheltered accommodation
· views were expressed regarding increasing the occupation levels of Bethesda through considering whether others of similar principles should/could be accepted into the Homes
· additionally, views were also expressed about the lack of individuals from Gospel Standard chapels wishing to work in Bethesda.
The task before the Trustees is, in the fear the Lord, to shape Bethesda to meet the current and future needs of the Lord’s elderly people, together with maintaining Bethesda’s ethos and distinctive position.
In doing this, we are mindful of the wider economic challenges facing Bethesda (and the elderly care sector in general) together with changes in Governmental attitudes towards residential care homes and the focus on care in the community.
Above all, our desire is to know and walk out the Lord’s will as it concerns Bethesda. As was identified in the responses, we each as individuals, have a view and/or ‘solution’ for the future of Bethesda, but may our prayer be ‘Lord, what wilt thou have us to do? – Thy will be done.’
Distributing this report is only one step in the journey facing Bethesda. We will endeavour to keep all interested parties informed, of future intentions and progress in a timely manner.
Brethren, pray for us
(For and on behalf of the Bethesda Trustees)