Bendigo Health’s new kitchen took its first orders yesterday as board chairman Bob Cameron took journalists on a tour of the new facility.
Mr Cameron said the opening, along with that of the hospital’s supply department which also opened yesterday, was a significant and exciting milestone for healthcare in Bendigo.
“The new hospital will help put patients first by providing better access to high quality healthcare services in a modern facility, and opening the new kitchen today is a highlight,” he said.
The new kitchen will produce more than 2000 means per day while the supply and procurement department handles in excess of 25,000 dispatches and deliveries each year.
Mr Cameron said 80 existing kitchen staff had been transferred to contractor Spotless, while the storeroom employees remained on the hospital’s books.
“The existing staff in the kitchen have been transferred to Spotless, they will manage the staff, but for them of course they continue to be a part of the Bendigo Health family,” he said.
“They might have a different logo but they’ll still be in the same hospital and essentially they’ll still be around the same people, and the supply department, they continue to be employed by Bendigo Health.”
Mr Cameron also backed Spotless to produce high quality meals which would meet patients’ diverse dietary needs.
“This is a new state-of-the-art kitchen, a great facility and what we want to have is good quality food for all of our patients,” he said.
“We know that nutrition is important and we want to make sure they’re well fed and were very confident that Spotless will be able to do that for Bendigo.”
Spotless’ facilities director James Cochlan said the new kitchen would ensure the hospital’s food services remained central to its operation.
“Our team will ensure the consistent delivery of high quality food services to patients, as we utilise technological advancements in food preparation, distribution, and safety,” he said.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and we’ve welcomed Bendigo Health staff as they come across to the Spotless team, as part of this handover.”
Chief executive of project leader, Exemplar Health, Michele Morrison said the openings signalled exciting times for the build, with the new hospital still on track to open in January next year.