Cooinda Aged Care Centre’s chef Rebecca Fontana and chief executive Robyn Kross.
Cooinda Aged Care Centre’s chef Rebecca Fontana and chief executive Robyn Kross. Renee Pilcher

Cooinda outsources kitchen

OUTSOURCING their kitchen has taken Cooinda Aged Care Centre to the next level of its evolution.

The decision comes in the wake of a management committee meeting last year where it was decided “to evaluate the facility.”

“We commissioned Paynter Dixon. The first thing was efficiency,” the centre’s chairman Paul Medway said.

“One section was the old area and it was rambling and taking up to two hours each day walking between facilities, so we needed a better layout.

“The other area was the kitchen – we needed efficiency in the kitchen.”

A management committee workshop was held with senior staff to discuss where they saw Cooinda going.

The short-term decision was to address the kitchen issue.

“Robyn Kross, our CEO started making enquiries for suitable contenders and came up with two who had aged-care experience.

“We got two quality quotes which were very similar so Robyn visited some facilities that were using them and then came back and made a recommendation.

“We have now taken on Medirest.

“The areas that concerned us were the number of staff we could keep and local suppliers.

“We talked to the staff and they re-applied for their positions.

“Of the 18 staff, 15 were offered positions. One did not apply and only two were not offered positions.”

Mr Medway said “most of the staff are happy” with the direction the facility is taking and that meals will still be prepared in the centre’s kitchen.

Medirest takes over the kitchen operations on July 17 and will have bi-monthly meetings with residents and the on-site manager will meet with the chief executive officer weekly as well as monthly meetings between Medirest and the CEO.

“From a residents point of view it’s about nutrition,” Mr Medway said.

“The menus will be reviewed regularly.

“Medirest employs a dietician to meet the residents’ needs.

“From a staff point of view, Medirest is a large organisation that can offer career advancement and staff training – something we could not do at Cooinda.

“The bottom line is that staff will be able to concentrate on the core business of caring for residents.

“We believe local suppliers and staff will not be worse off.”

Gympie Times


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