Aged care facility’s demand for equipped maintenance support

by Tiffany Paczek
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The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency has recently introduced legislated unannounced accreditation audits to strengthen the oversight of aged care services. However, along with inadequate funding and staffing in the aged care sector, this does not support consistent maintenance or the quality of these facilities.

Woollam Constructions has been facilitating an ongoing maintenance and support service following construction to safeguard the lifetime of an asset – most beneficial to the aged care and healthcare sectors.

In recognition of sustainable funding and more value for each dollar spent, unlike the typical constructor, Woollam wants to be involved along the entire journey of its facilities.

Woollam’s Facilities Maintenance business manager Mark Burcher says the maintenance plans provide a schedule of the property’s entire lifecycle.

“The Facilities Maintenance plan can then feed into the lifecycle allowing budgeting for proactive rather than reactive maintenance,” Burcher says.

“For example, when the time comes to replace expensive catering equipment in the kitchen which has reached the end of its useful life, this does not come as a surprise to the client and there is a full-service history and cost analysis to support these decisions.

“Another aged care maintenance issue which providers are often unprepared for, is the mechanical plan for commercial Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems which have a typical lifecycle of 15 years.”

“As this rarely aligns with the lifespan of the entire facility, a Facilities Maintenance plan can allocate capital budget to the HVAC plan to avoid a rude shock when it’s time for replacement or overhaul.”

In demonstrating the long-term benefits for implementing a Facilities Maintenance plan, Woollam has reduced resourcing needs, operating costs and exceeded the performance expectations for aged care properties in Queensland.

Burcher says this all comes down to Woollam’s objective around value for money and long-term value over the life of the asset – “whole-life costing”.

“Woollam’s Facilities Maintenance division is a full-scale service offering which ranges from fixing a leaking tap right through to completely refurbishing a property,” he says.

“It is this breadth of service that sets us apart from other Facilities Maintenance companies.”

Since establishing this service in July 2016, Woollam has been championing Facilities Maintenance across a high percentage of aged care projects in South East Queensland.

Image:  123RF’s Tyler Olson © 123RF

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