Bethany Residential Home

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bethany Residential Home's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bethany Residential Home is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Manager Melanie Hales
recording daily notes on
Residents enjoying the
sunshine and playing games
Bethany Residential Home are located in Chepstow and
provide residential care for up to 36 residents over the age
of 65. The service was founded by Justice Phelps, whose
grandson, Robert Phelps, still works for the home. They have
embraced the benefits of technology to improve transparency
and accessibility, allowing families to check in on their relative
when they are not present. Lead Administrator Aimee Phelps
tells The Parliamentary Review about the benefits of this
technology and how the care sector needs to be supported by
Bethany Home is a two-storey, purpose-built residential care home. It is situated
on the outskirts of the historic town of Chepstow in South Wales. We have been a
family-run home ever since we opened, and our purpose has always been to give
something back to the ageing population in our local community.
The home provides residential care for up to 36 people over the age of 65.
This includes accommodation for 18 service users with mild dementia. Working
alongside doctors, community district nurses and St David’s nurses, we can also
provide additional support to residents in need of health, nursing or end-of-life care.
We always have and always will pride ourselves on providing our service users with
a home where they feel happy, welcome and comfortable to enjoy their twilight
years. Whether their stay with us is short or long term, we provide a home from
home with a warm welcome. We provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365
»Lead Administrator: Aimee
»Founder: Justice Phelps
»Founded in 1984
»Based in Chepstow
»Services: Residential care
»No. of employees: 40
Bethany Residential
Highlighting best practice
days a year, and have a team of fully
trained staff who are always on hand
to offer assistance and support when
Ensuring individuality
Our aim is to provide the highest
standard of care with a person-centred
approach in an environment that is
comfortable, friendly and free from
institutionalised ideas. We believe
that all service users who choose to
reside at Bethany should do so with
dignity, be respected by those who
support them and be entitled to live a
full and active life. Key to this is being
given the fundamental right to self-
determination and individuality and
remaining as independent as possible.
This is best achieved by developing
a service that is transparent and fully
committed to delivering person-
centred care.
Our responsible individual is Mr
Robert Phelps, the grandson of the
founder, Mr Justice Phelps. He is a
local business provider who has 15
years’ experience within the care home
and is registered with the CIW and
Monmouthshire council. Our manager
is Mrs Melanie Hales, who has over
12 years’ experience of working
with older people and is a dementia
champion. We have a great team of
care staff, activities co-ordinators and
domestic staff who are fully committed
to the home and their work with our
Embracing technology
We are one of the most technologically
advanced care homes in the country,
with many different systems in place
for transparency and addressability.
CareDocs is one of our computerised
systems. This allows our care staff
to have access to all the necessary
information on each service user at the
click of a button. All daily notes, care
plans, risk assessments and audits are
written, reviewed and accessible via
a password-protected login system.
The pictorial system is user-friendly
and is easy for residents to use when
The new cloud-based system can
even be viewed by doctors, family
members and specialists once they
have been authorised and given a
login. This is revolutionising the way
information is shared so that service
users get the treatment they need
more rapidly. Families can also see
what is happening within the home
and how their relative is when they are
not present.
We also operate a Proactive Care
System for the administration of
all medication. This is a device that
scans barcodes on all medication
packs before they are administered.
All trained staff have access to and
administer medication as prescribed.
Emily O’Sullivan
scanning medication
ready to administer to a
We believe
that all service
users who
choose to
reside at
should do so
with dignity
and be
respected by
those who
support them
The device ensures staff are giving
the correct medication and dose to
the correct service user at the correct
time. The device will come up with an
error if medication is being given at
the incorrect time or to the incorrect
resident or if the dose is incorrect.
The device also controls stock, which
allows us to order just the medication
that is needed for the month. This cuts
down on the waste that we once had
within the home, which in turn saves
the NHS thousands of pounds a year.
The need for support
Like many other care providers across
the country, we face a variety of
challenges. The first of these is the
simple fact that individuals have
increasingly complex needs. The
population is living longer, which has
an impact on their physical, emotional,
spiritual and mental health. We
are finding more service users have
been in their homes with little or no
stimulation from or interaction with
others, which often has an impact on
their emotional and mental health.
Therefore, there is a greater demand
for homes to provide dementia and
specialist care. In our local area, we
have seen the loss of Llanvair Ward
at Chepstow community hospital,
which closed down. The ward provided
specialist care for dementia sufferers
and other mental health concerns, and
the loss of the eight beds has had an
impact locally.
Another issue is the lack of
government funding for care homes
and the low fees that are paid. We
have operated for 34 years, and this
is the first year that we have had to
introduce a top-up fee to assist the
home in keeping staff and continuing
to provide a high standard of care.
The industry is struggling, when all we
want to do is to improve the service
we provide and raise standards across
the nation. Care wages are very low
considering the dedication, care and
love that care workers show, and the
sector is struggling to compete when
they can be paid more in a warehouse
or a shop. More needs to be done to
support the care sector and especially
those who work within it.
We have
operated for
34 years and
this is the first
year we have
had to
introduce a
top-up fee
Management team,
left to right: Deputy
Manager Emily Williams,
Manager Melanie Hales,
Director Robert Phelps
and Lead Administrator
Aimee Phelps

This article was sponsored by Bethany Residential Home. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster