In 2010 Jewish Care commissioned Goldstone Perl and Bernice Hardie to conduct market research amongst Southend’s Jewish community.
The market research, which consisted of a number of focus groups as well as questionnaires, was aimed at any adults age 18+ connected to Southend and users of Jewish Care services in Southend including relatives and volunteers.
One of the main findings was that Raymond House no longer meets the needs or expectations of the local Southend community.
The questionnaire was designed to identify likely future demand of services and factors of importance when selecting residential care services. The questionnaire was distributed via Jewish Care services in Southend, synagogues, posters and press as well as by direct post and internet. 262 questionnaires were completed and returned (approx. 17% return rate).
The market research key findings were:
- Jewish Care services in Southend are appreciated and valued by the community
- Future demands for residential services will be limited by the ‘outdated’ facilities and uncompetitive fees and future focus on home based services.
- Those considering residential care attribute higher importance on “comfy accommodation”, “en-suite facilities” and “activities and atmosphere” than “Jewish celebrations” and “kosher food”.
The research showed that while Jewish Care’s services in Southend are still appreciated by the community, the demand for residential care, as provided by Raymond House, will be very limited, given the outdated nature of the building, the lack of en-suite facilities.
This decision comes as a result of the continued and substantial losses we have sustained over a long period of time at the home, the low levels of occupancy and the worsening economic environment.
Simon Morris, chief executive of Jewish Care said, “The decision to close Raymond House is in no way related to the quality of the care provided. However, it has become clear over the last few years that the home is no longer in demand from the local community and does not meet either their needs or expectations going forward.”
Neil Taylor, director of care and community services said, “The wellbeing of our residents is our highest priority. We will be working very closely with residents, relatives, staff, volunteers and local authorities to support everyone during this difficult time. We will assist in resident’s relocation to alternative homes which will include other Jewish Care homes as well as Jewish style and other care homes in Southend.”
Steven Lewis, chairman of Jewish Care, said, “I can assure you that the decision to close Raymond House was an extremely hard one to make for all involved at Jewish Care, as everyone recognises the impact that this will have on our residents, their families and staff and volunteers at the home.”
Mr Lewis continued, “Jewish Care remains committed to the Jewish community in Southend. In light of the plans for Raymond House, we will be renewing our efforts to ensure that, going forward, the services we will provide in Southend will meet the changing needs of the community. We will be using the research and continuing conversations with the community to help guide us as we move forward.”