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Lady Nuffield Care home

Case study

Carrying out work in a care home kitchen has many unique challenges, the main one being to ensure that the residents don’t have their daily routine disturbed but remain fully catered for. Ovation overcame these, and others, as part of a recent kitchen refurbishment project at the Lady Nuffield Care Home in Oxford

The structure of the kitchen at Lady Nuffield had remained largely untouched since the property was built in the late Victorian era and, although the equipment in it didn’t date back quite that far, it needed replacing.

In charge of finding a company capable of doing all that was required to modernise the kitchen was Mike Burton, at the home. ‘There were two aspects of the proposed project that I thought were particularly challenging,’ he says. ‘The first was the actual work that needed to be done, and the second was the thought of going without a working kitchen whilst the refurbishment was in progress. As it turned out, I need not have worried!

In addition to dealing with the ageing kitchen equipment and redesigning the layout, the other major concern for Mike was the condition of the existing floor surface – a vinyl finish that had started to “lift” and was on the verge of becoming dangerous.

Once we started to look at what actually needed doing it became obvious that there was much more to the project than simply refurbishing the equipment,’ says Mike. ‘The complexity of what was required became even more evident as soon as I invited a selection of companies to visit the site and quote for the work. Ultimately though, this worked in my favour because having approached three separate companies it soon became very obvious that Ovation were head and shoulders above the others in all areas, from understanding our requirements, to having the skills to carry out everything that needed doing. It’s also worth pointing out that their whole attitude to the project was different to the other companies – it was one of enthusiasm and professionalism.

The first part of the project was to remove the existing equipment and set it aside for cleaning and refurbishment where commercially viable. The next phase was critical, taking the existing floor up and putting a new one down: clearly nothing else could be done until the new floor was in place.

The scope of the project called for us to remove the existing equipment, store it onsite in a designated storage area outside the building, and then reinstate it along with some additional equipment once it had been thoroughly cleaned and serviced,’ says Ovation Project Director, Rob Mantle. ‘However, at the time of the site survey I noted that the extraction canopy was going to be too small and that a fresh air supply would also be required, so we suggested a new canopy complete with a gas interlock system to ensure compliance with Gas Safe regulations. We also suggested a few slight adjustments to the layout in order to improve the workflow in the kitchen.’

We allowed for the kitchen to be closed for ten days, during which time we were lucky to have the support of another care home less than 100 yards away who were able to provide meals for the residents,’ says Mike. ‘Astonishingly, Ovation managed to complete the entire project – including removing the equipment, lifting and relaying the floor, applying a finish to the walls and ceilings, fitting a new canopy, and re-installing and commissioning the equipment – in just five days! What’s even more impressive about this is that at no point did I feel as though they were rushing any part of it, or cutting corners, it was remarkable what they managed to achieve in such a short space of time.

“I have worked with many contractors over the years, and I have to say that Ovation are right up there with the best, not only did they do a great job, nothing was too much trouble for them and there was always somebody at the end of the phone who knew the details of the project and was willing to help and offer advice.

Delivered ahead of schedule and within the designated budget the new kitchen is now up and running and offering a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner service for Lady Nuffield’s 30 residents.”

Mike, Nuffield care home