January 20, 2021

New kitchen at Northern Hospital opening soon!

Stage 2 works of the Northern Hospital Expansion Project are coming to fruition, with completion on track to be finished within the next month.

One of the first areas to move into the new building will be our Food Services Department – who will be heading into a state of the art kitchen facility.

The new kitchen area is more spacious than the current facility, which is the original kitchen that was built within the hospital when it first opened in 1998.

Greg Warman, Director of Support Services, is excited for Food Services to move into their new space, which will offer a number of benefits and new features for both staff and patients.

“The new kitchen is a lot larger and is also more functional than the current one, and there’s more flow throughout it,” he said.

“In our current kitchen, we don’t have facilities for production, so an important feature of the new one is that we are now in a position where we are able to cook food here. In the new space, we have a 150L kettle, cooktops, fryers and a Frima, which is a multipurpose piece of equipment – like a pressure cooker – and we’ve got space for another one in the future. We also have the new blast chiller/freezer so we can store food, and the plan is to do full complete meals.”

Tina Smith, ISS Catering Manager, said, “From a patient satisfaction standpoint, I think this will be a value add.”

The new kitchen will become operational on 3 February, however, the equipment will start moving into the new space on 27 January.

“Overnight on 2 February, the tray line will get moved and then our first meal to go out from the new kitchen will be breakfast the next day,” Greg said.

Greg explains that during the transition, patients won’t be impacted by the move and there will be no disruptions to meals.

“The move will be seamless so patients won’t be affected. The menu and meal times will remain the same,” he said.

“The only thing patients will notice is their food being provided on disposables from 25 January to 3 February, as we won’t have the dishwasher in use during the move,” Greg added.

Greg and his team are looking forward to the opportunities the new facility will bring to Northern Health, while helping to improve patient experience.

“Part of the reason I joined Northern Health was because of this project. Kane Construction have done a fantastic job – they’ve given us a brilliant kitchen and we’re really excited to be coming towards the pointy end of the project,” Greg said.

Staff training has already commenced so staff can familiarise themselves with the new space and facilities.

Tina acknowledged the enormous effort between ISS staff and Northern Health staff to bring this project to fruition.

“Collaboratively, from an ISS and Northern Health standpoint, it’s been a big joint effort. It’s an exciting time – the next two weeks are going to be very busy moving in, but we’re ready for the challenge and we are confident we will have a smooth transition on both sides,” Tina expressed.

Featured Image (left to right): Tina Smith, ISS Catering Manager with Greg Warman, Director Support Services