Ranfurly’s exceptional efforts were officially recognised earlier this month, when the Village Hospital were not only announced as the winner of the Bidvest Excellence in Food for Care Homes and Hospital Award at the NZACA/EBOS Excellence in Care Awards, but also took out the Overall Excellence in Aged Care Award.
Food consultant and nutritionist Pip Duncan, was a member of the judging panel and was blown away by what Ranfurly Village is doing.
“The food service is an outstanding process, starting with residents choosing from an extensive menu. Nutritious food is freshly cooked and attractively presented. It’s a real team approach and great to see a chef leading the kitchen in producing restaurant quality meals,” she said.
Ranfurly’s Executive Chef Terence Austin is delighted but not surprised by the Award: “I get this type of feedback every day from our residents. The reward for me is getting clean plates back every day and seeing our residents rediscovering their food and looking forward to meal times.
Terence has a wealth of experience in food preparation, presentation and delivery and staff training. He gained experience at the prestigious Tourist Hotel Corporation Wairakei near Taupo, was Head Chef for Valentines Restaurant chain and has run his own restaurant and catering operation. The annual New Zealand Aged Care Association Awards 2014 were held on Wellington’s waterfront, and recognised the very best in the pursuit of excellence by aged residential care facilities and their staff delivering services to over 33,000 elderly New Zealanders and their families every year.
Ranfurly Village Hospital’s food transformation began in January, 2014, when the meal service was brought in house under the direction of Terence Austin.
The team’s goal was to give residents back their enjoyment of food by creating a dining experience that they really look forward to, while at the same time making sure it was also good for them.
Graham Wilkinson, Director of Retirement Assets Limited, who commenced development of Ranfurly Village in October 2012, in partnership with the Ranfurly Trust, is delighted that the hard work and commitment of management and staff at the Ranfurly Village Hospital has been recognised by the industry.
“The huge improvements we have made to the dining experience for our residents was a real team effort. We challenged the status quo,” he says. “Residents and their families are happier with our meal service, weight management is much better, and our expert dietician Anna Keely has reported we are exceeding nutritional guidelines,” Wilkinson said.
To achieve such an exceptional standard of food service, fresh ingredients are brought in to the village every day and everything - except sausages - is made from scratch including soups, desserts, cake, even yoghurt. Seasonal menus are planned over a four weekly cycle.
Ranfurly Village has also introduced new innovation to help residents communicate their food preferences and wishes. The residents have embraced and enjoy ordering their meals from hand-held tablets using software developed especially for this purpose. Photographic menus make it easier for them to choose.
Ranfurly’s transformation has also improved food variety. For example, breakfast is tailor-made for each resident, lunch and dinner offers a choice of two hot meals, and six or seven sandwich and salad options.
CEO of NZ Aged Care Association, and another judge of the Food category at the Excellence in Care Awards, Martin Taylor, reinforced that Ranfurly Village Hospital had set the bar very high. “The food was exceptional and the residents have a level of choice we have not seen in aged care before. They also need be commended for developing a system of meal selection based on smart technology which integrates seamlessly with their care plans,” he said.
Staff celebrated the award win among residents with a special celebration cake; baked of course under Terence’s direction.
Ranfurly Village Hospital’s food service will also benefit the village’s new apartment residents as they will be able to use the same tablet technology to order high quality meals on demand.
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