Cook­ing up a storm in new fa­cil­i­ties

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Co­bram Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal’s kitchen staff will not know them­selves soon with an up­grade in the near fu­ture.

The hos­pi­tal has re­ceived a Re­gional Health In­fra­struc­ture Fund grant of $930 000, Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Mark Gepp an­nounced last week.

The money will help up­grade the hos­pi­tal’s kitchen, as well as floor­ing, paint­ing, plumb­ing and electrical work.

Health chair Dale Brooks said the hos­pi­tal was grate­ful for the fund­ing, which fol­lows Irvin House re­ceiv­ing $1.62 mil­lion for a makeover in Septem­ber.

‘‘On be­half of the board of Co­bram Dis­trict Health, we are de­lighted that our health ser­vice has re­ceived a sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment of $930 867 from the gov­ern­ment for the up­grade of our kitchen and heat­ing and cool­ing,’’ he said.

Mr Brooks said the news had brought a lot of joy to kitchen staff, with the fa­cil­i­ties in need of im­prove­ment.

‘‘The an­nounce­ment of the grant is won­der­ful news for Co­bram Dis­trict Health since the kitchen fa­cil­i­ties have needed con­sid­er­able up­grade since they were orig­i­nally de­signed many years ago,’’ he said.

‘‘Many of our hard­work­ing staff who pro­duce qual­ity meals ev­ery day at the hos­pi­tal in our en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices and do­mes­tic ser­vices have worked in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances in the kitchen with aged in­fra­struc­ture and crowded con­di­tions.’’

He said the re­vamp would es­sen­tially re­place the 1980s equip­ment, which was clunky and heavy, with new sys­tems and would pro­vide an open kitchen space, al­low­ing for faster food pro­duc­tion.

Kitchen worker Rosa Sor­renti said the good news was mu­sic to the staff’s ears.

‘‘It’s re­ally con­gested at the mo­ment be­cause Irvin House’s kitchen staff are also work­ing out of here,’’ she said.

‘‘We have five girls on the go and it’s pretty crowded, you’ve al­ways got to be on your guard to make sure you’re not bump­ing into other work­ers and there’s also not much bench space.’’

Mr Brooks be­lieved the changes would al­low the hos­pi­tal to live up to its rep­u­ta­tion and im­prove fur­ther.

‘‘Co­bram has en­joyed a good rep­u­ta­tion for the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of the meals pro­vided, which is a credit to the ded­i­ca­tion and hard work of our kitchen and en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices,’’ he said.

‘‘There­fore, we are gen­uinely pleased that the new fa­cil­i­ties will go a long way to en­sure that Co­bram Dis­trict Health con­tin­ues to pro­vide ex­cel­lent food to our pa­tients.’’

Mr Brooks said the board ap­pre­ci­ated what chief ex­ec­u­tive Jacque Phillips and all the staff in­volved had done in the draft­ing and suc­cess of the grant ap­pli­ca­tion.

The $250 mil­lion Re­gional Health In­fra­struc­ture Fund is de­signed to re­build re­gional and ru­ral health ser­vices to make sure Vic­to­ri­ans have ac­cess the high-qual­ity care and fa­cil­i­ties.

Up­grade wel­comed: Co­bram hos­pi­tal kitchen staff Tukky Twee­dle, Deb­bie Lowrie, Rosa Sor­renti with Co­bram Dis­trict Health chair Dale Brooks.

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