Yorkare Homes’ objective is to create ‘Care Homes of Distinction’ and this certainly proved to be the case when its Magdalen Park Nursing Home in Hedon, East Yorkshire, was recently named Best New Build Care Home in the UK at the 2015 Pinders Healthcare Design Awards. What makes the success all the more impressive is that the development had to overcome significant challenges before it could get started, as Laurence Garton, Development Director, outlined to Construction Industry News.
“After sourcing the site two and a half years ago we worked tirelessly to convince the council and local planners that the facility we were planning to develop would be above and beyond all the other care homes in East Yorkshire,” explains Mr Garton. “In terms of the most significant hurdles, the hardest challenge to start with was convincing the local authorities and local residents that it was the right development in the right area. This was probably the most difficult hurdle to overcome but once we’d secured the support of the local town mayor, the local adult services and the planners, moving onto the build phase wasn’t overly difficult.
“To have since seen the site come to fruition and receive acknowledgement in the shape of such a prestigious award is really pleasing, especially as we were up against the best care homes that had been built across the whole of the UK. From a company point of view it’s great recognition, particularly from the perspective of myself, the architects and the building team. We have all worked so hard on the development for two and a half years. It’s been a long and, at times, difficult process so this recognition helps makes all the hard work worthwhile. More importantly, however, is that the feedback from residents and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.”
As for what sets Magdalen Park Nursing Home apart, the site has different care units for residents requiring care for dementia or nursing needs and the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards judges were particularly impressed with the thought provided to the internal layout of the home to ensure the best care can be delivered with a upmarket hotel feel. The judges were also impressed that there is easy and immediate access to external areas from each care unit on all floors, with one terrace including a bowling green on the roof while providing views across the Holderness countryside. It was the only home entered into the awards that included a full traditional ‘street scene’, along with a licensed pub, the Magdalen Arms, which has quickly become the social hub of the home. The judges also mentioned the thought that had clearly been shown so family members of all ages visiting the Home can spend time with their friends and relatives, joining in many activities while at Magdalen Park, from dining in the pub, shopping in Sweets and Treats, using the nail salon together or allowing the children to play in the children’s corner in the entertainment room.
“We have all worked so hard on the development for two and a half years. It’s been a long and, at times, difficult process so this recognition helps makes all the hard work worthwhile. More importantly, however, is that the feedback from residents and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.”
“Basically we’ve created a wide variety of destinations where residents can go with their families throughout the home so they’re not restricted to staying within the lounge, dining room or their bedroom,” adds Mr Garton. “Instead they can go for lunch on the top floor in the conservatory and we’ve got a barbeque up on our roof terrace with outdoor seating. It has glass all the way round residents and visitors alike can see the fields. There’s also a bowling green on the roof terrace and many of the residents’ families can come and use those facilities. We’ve got an entertainment room that was previously a cinema that we’ve made much more child-friendly by adding chalkboards and magnetic walls. These might seem like small details but there’s been an awful lot of thought that’s been put into every single use to make sure that a full family could make the most of the home.”
With the award being a ringing endorsement of the approach that Yorkare Homes has taken, the recognition of the quality of the design at Magdalen Park has given the company the confidence to use the same formula in forthcoming developments.
“The acknowledgement we’ve had locally from adult services and following the open days has been extremely positive, plus the fact that over six months after opening we’re 90 per cent full and all the residents and their families are really enjoying it, all of which underlines the fact that we’re doing the right thing. As a result, the sites we’ve currently got planning for and are due to build over the next year or two in the local area in similar towns in East Riding will feature the same level of innovation. As a company and as a team, we’ve taken the confidence from this property to replicate in future so we’re just aiming to build them as soon as we can.
“We’ve also built a strong supply chain and close working relationships with our contractors, which also really helps. We generally work on the basis that if we’re happy with the guys we’re working with and they can roll the same price out over to the next project then we’re quite happy to keep using them. The same applies to our supply chain. Everything has pretty much been the same people throughout the last three projects.”
Yorkare Homes was formed by John and Evonne Garton, who first started in the care industry in 1987 with the acquisition of The Elms Residential Home in Sutton, Hull. After building a successful company with a group of five homes throughout East Yorkshire with an impeccable reputation, the group was bought out in 2008. At this point their two sons Laurence and Jonathan Garton finished Leeds University with degrees in Accounting and Finance and Business Management respectively, with Laurence completing his Masters in Property Investment and Development at Nottingham Trent University. Debra Charlesworth joined in 2009 as Administration Manager to complete the head office team. It was decided that the company would aim to build and run the highest quality care homes in the area and in 2009 Westfield Park Nursing Home was the first home opened and the company’s reputation has gone from strength-to-strength. More recently Elizabeth Garton joined the family company after previously working as a chartered accountant at companies such as KPMG and Asda. The company then went on and bought additional sites with Hedon being its third build. It has received planning for another site, which it is just starting with, and has secured planning for an additional three new build homes similar to Hedon that will be developed in the months ahead.