Vitalise Opinion Forum - Discussions
Your thoughts, opinions and conerns are very important to us and the information we receive helps us to ensure we are providing a service that suits your needs. Please be assured that we take your feedback seriously.
Below are summaries about the topics we seek your input on, what our forum participants told us and how we will pursue with these topics.
Currently, most of our weeks run from Saturday to Saturday and all guests arrive on that same day.
We would like to know if you are generally happy with this arrangement. Is Saturday a good day for you? Or would you prefer to have a split arrival day? For example, rather than all guests arriving on a Saturday we would like to know if you would prefer it if you could choose to arrive on either a Wednesday or a Saturday. Would a split arrival day make your life easier or is Saturday your preferred option? Please tell us what you think.
- 41% are happy with Saturday being the arrival day and would not want to change it
- 31% would welcome a split arrival day and asked for more flexibiliity
- 18% said it doesn’t matter what day they arrive
The majority told us that they are worried about losing the opportunity to go on excursions if split arrival days are introduced and request clarification on this issue. We do recognise that excursions are an important part of the break.
You also told us that it may be more difficult to arrange transport during the week if you are relying on other people to help you get to the centre. At the same time you told us that you would appreciate it if you could start your respite break on a day that is convenient to you.
Thank you for taking time to tell us your thoughts, worries and ideas on this topic. We will trial a range of three-night midweek breaks from November to January at all of our centres. The Taster Breaks run from Tuesdays to Fridays, are full board breaks and include 2 daily excursions on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as evening entertainment every night and 24 hour care on-call.
Do you prefer plated food or would you prefer family service style?
The majority prefers plated food
Would you like us to offer a continental breakfast?
The majority would like us to offer a continental breakfast.
Would you like us to offer a range of healthy seeded bread?
The majority would prefer us to offer a range of healthy seeded bread
Do you find the colour coded dietary requirement system clear enough?
The majority finds the current system clear enough.
How would you rate the food presentation?
How would you rate the variety of food offered for people who eat lunch in the Centres?
How would you rate the variety of fillings and the bread offered in the packed lunch (on excursions)?
How would you rate the portion sizes?
How helpful are the chef and restaurant staff at making sure you get what you need?
How important is it to you that we serve yoghurt and fresh fruit?
It’s very important for the majority that we serve yoghurt and fresh fruit.
How important is it to you that we serve locally sourced meat/produce?
It’s very important for the majority that we serve locally sourced meat/produce.
How important is it to you to meet our chef?
It’s very important for the majority to meet the chef.
As a result we have implemented the following:
- At all centres we now offer an improved quality breakfast - including a continental breakfast - twice a week. Every day we offer fresh fruit and fresh natural yoghurt. Please view our sample menu (PDF).
- The chef in each centre will speak to every guest on arrival to make sure we understand our guests’ dietary needs; the chef will then make sure he or she will talk to our guests on a daily basis.
- We have improved the bread offered and now provide a range of freshly baked rolls with some meals.
- Each centre is improving its efforts to source local produce; for example fresh fish at Sandpipers, which is hand fried in a batter made with locally produced Ale.
Pricing, Excursions and Activities
We asked for your input on how we price our breaks. Currently, the price of our breaks is the same for all guests however much care and support is required from our care staff. We are considering changing this for all new bookings in 2012. We are looking at lowering the break price for those guests who may only require a few hours of care per day and increasing the price for those guests whose care may require more of our staff’s time, such as hoisting and PEG feeding for example. We think this may be a fairer way of pricing our breaks.
The majority told us that a pricing model that prices the break depending on how much care a guest requires is a fair approach. We do recognise that the break price is important for you and that most are concerned how such a model might affect them.
Your comments on this topic made us realise even more how important the break price is for you and that it is important that a pricing model depending on care requirements needs to be clear and simple. We need to ensure that the pricing model is easy to explain so it is clear why some people might need to pay more than other guests. We also need to ensure that we provide you with the service you pay for whilst on your break.
We recognise that our break prices have increased over the past years. This is due to a worsening economic situation affecting our fundraising efforts so that we are not currently able to subsidise each break as much as we have in the past.
We are looking into different ways how we can help our guests afford a break. In addition to our Joan Brander Fund and late availability offers we are looking into developing more ways to make our breaks even more affordable.
2. Excursions and activities
We asked you to tell us what excursions and activities you would like to see at our centres.
The majority told us that we need to be more flexible on excursions with regards to meals, destinations and group size and provide much more in-centre activities as an alternative to excursions.
We received many great ideas and will certainly be looking into how we can implement some of them. We are already looking into developing a salon and spa in each centre which several people expressed interest in.
We asked you to let us know your thoughts about our website with regards to accessability, ease of use and attractiveness.
- 88% find the website attractive
- 94% find our website easy to navigate
- 94% were able to download our brochure
- 89% find it very easy or at least somewhat easy to find, download and view our brochure
- 83% find it very easy or at least somewhat easy to find a centre break
- 95% find it very easy or at least somewhat easy to find out how to book a break
- 56% would like to be able to book online
Some of your additional comments:
- Some of you mentioned that you would like to receive more detailed information about the trips/activities in advance
- Some of you mentioned that it should be enough to collect the guest’s medical information at the stage of booking and pass the information on to our centres rather than collecting the information several times.
As a result we have implemented or are currently working on the following:
- Online booking: we are currently working on implementing the possibility of booking a Vitalise centre break online
- With the launch of the new 2013 brochure more detailed information on trips and other activities will be available in advance at the stage of booking and on the website
- Medical data collection: a process will be put in place this year collecting the information from our guests only once and then asked to confirm accuracy at check in