Published date: 18 December 2020

Creating ‘healthy spaces’ for NHS staff: refurbishing a health centre’s staff kitchen

Houghton Health Centre, Sunderland


Site: NHSPS-owned health centre.

Customer: GP (main tenant) Houghton Medical Group; various other healthcare services: dental, podiatry, speech and language; wider services using bookable NHS Open Space rooms.

NHSPS representatives: Steven Morris (Senior Construction Manager), Susan Madge (Facilities Co-ordinator), Lindsey Robson (Support Services Team Leader).

Customer feedback

“The kitchen is much cleaner and pleasant to use.”

Community Dental Team, NHS South Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead Foundation Trust 

The challenge

The staff kitchen at Houghton Health Centre had become dated, with some water damage to the units, and not making the most of the small space available. Staff lacked a welcoming space to use on breaks and in between shifts, to relax and recharge.

The solution

NHS Property Services is committed to improving environments for NHS colleagues and patients alike. We are running a ‘healthy places’ initiative across our portfolio, identifying opportunities to improve staff rest and welfare areas for our NHS partners.

Our Construction and FM teams invested £3,500 to redecorate the whole kitchen, replacing the units, the water boiler, cold water dispenser and flooring. We also put in new seating, offering a mix of smaller areas instead of one big table for different groups to use.  

The impact

The ~60 staff at Houghton Health Centre now have a modern and more efficient kitchen that offers a welcoming and relaxing space. We’ve had great feedback from our post-project survey, with staff agreeing the kitchen is much improved.

Improved rest and welfare areas for NHS staff will help improve their physical and mental wellbeing, which will help them to continue delivering excellent patient care.