Delivering 21st Century Care Facilities – programme of improvement works


The project was to deliver a programme of 6 complex refurbishments and DDA compliance works to Day Service Centres in Nottingham.  The works (procured through empa) included full heating system replacements, mechanical and electrical upgrades including the provision of electric doors, sensory rooms, internal and external decorating, hard and soft landscaping and social enterprise infrastructure elements such as a hair salon.

Key Challenges

Every project poses its own set of unique challenges for the delivery team.  This project was particularly challenging for a number of reasons. These included:

  • Working in live sites with vulnerable people required specific and detailed safeguarding arrangements to be made with each independent centre before the works were started.
  • The Ernhale Lea Centre involved working in the main Reception Hall with large volumes of public traffic.
  • Delivering absolute minimum disruption to staff and service users through the works including mitigating noise, dust and visual pollution allowing some centres to remain open without disrupting care.
  • One third of the Centres included an asbestos removal programme.
  • Delivering the project on time was critical to ensure service users could receive the care they need without re-locating which would add significant cost to the client.
  • Managing multiple separate projects simultaneously across a wide geographical area.
  • Balderton Day Care Centre is situated on a single access road shared with a school which required careful delivery management to ensure the safety of parents, teachers and children.


Adopting a collaborative approach delivered real efficiencies and enabled us to meet the client’s requirements to deliver state of the art facilities which will directly improve the level of care offered at the Health Centres.

  • Continuous design improvements were achieved based on our experience of schemes.
  • Constant communication between each independent Centre Management Team facilitated regular and constructive feedback to improve our service, report progress and discuss
  • Specialist HoardFast partitioning was used through the project to effectively and safely segregate the works from service users and staff.
  • We used the right people, with the right experience.  Providing resources with direct experience of working on similar Healthcare projects involving working on live sites with vulnerable people minimised risks to programme, budget, safety and overall project delivery.
  • Dust and noise pollution was minimised by programming dust and noise generating works out of centre opening hours.  Further works of significant risk to service users were also undertaken out of hours.
  • The project programme was buffered to allow for additional works to be undertaken while still achieving the specified handover date.


Local Spend – 89.9% under 20 miles

Local jobs – over 1,300 days of work for local subcontractors

Waste – 95% recycled or re-used

Repeat Custom

Following the success of the 6 refurbishment projects Robert Woodhead were appointed to conduct 2 further phases of work at an additional Day Care Centre in West Bridgford for Nottinghamshire County Council, on the EMPA Minor Works Framework with an approximate value of £200,000

Social Achievements

  • Reduced social isolation
  • Enables breaks for carers
  • Personal care and activities to stay healthy
  • Excess wood was donated to a local school woodwork department


“It’s been a really outstanding project and I have to say that our builders and partners Robert Woodhead have been absolutely excellent. I would like to give particular credit to Robert Woodhead’s Site Manager for delivering this project on time and on budget.  The contractors have really delivered a good quality scheme and importantly value for money.”

Kay Cutts

Ex Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council